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SEC ULAE THOUGHT 

A Fortnightly Journal of Rational Criticism in 
Politics, Science, and Religion. 



J. 5. ELLIS, Editor. 


NEW SERIES. 




C. n. ELLIS. Bu5. Mgr. 


Vol. XXXI. No. i. 


TORONTO, JAN. 14, 


1905. 


loc; $2 per ann 



f aitb Xea&0 to Ibigpocriei?^ 

:o: 

The prejudice of unfounded belief often degenerates into the 
prejudice of custom, and becomes at last rank hypocrisy. 
When men, from custom or fashion or any worldly motive, 
profess or pretend to believe what they do not believe, nor can 
give any reason for believing, they unship the helm of their 
morality, and being no longer honest to their own minds, they 
feel no moral difficulty in being unjust to others. It is from 
the influence of this vice, hypocrisy, that we see so many 
church-and-meeting-going professors and pretenders to reli- 
gion so full of trick and deceit in their dealings, and so loose 
in the performance of their engagements that they are not to 
be trusted further than the laws of the country will bind them. 
Morality has no hold on their minds, no restraint on their 
actions. — Thomas Paine. 

EDITORIALS. 

WHAT PREACHERS THINK OF CHRISTMAS. 
If the choir-master has his work cut out for him to organize something 
new and startling for the Christmas festivities at the church, it is no less 
incumbent on the parson to add his mite, little as it may be, in the pro- 
gramme of attractions. The task is undoubtedly a hard one with such a 
threadbare subject; and the man who tries to say something rational, 
and succeeds in saying something not unmistakably idiotic, about thr 
mraculous birth of an infinite and almighty being m the shape of an 
unconscious infant, deserves at least a putt}' medal. 

Canon Cody, at St. Paul's Anglican Chiu'ch, chosfi for his toxt : ''And 
this siiall be a sign unto you : yr>u shall find the habo wr.ippcd in swad- 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 



dling clothes, lying in a manger." Surely this was a wonderful sign ! 
If the swaddling clothes had been made of asbestos cloth or cocoa-nut 
fibre matting, or even plain Scotch linoleum, there might have been 
something unusual in it ; but, as swaddling clothes are the proper per- 
quisite of all infants, where was the particular sign ? Was it in the fact 
of the manger being used for a cradle ? Truly, not many newly-born 
infants are laid in mangers, but as the parents of this one, we are told, 
could not obtain better lodgings than a stable, the inn being full, the 
manger must have been handy and not very unsuitable. Matthew, how- 
ever, tells us that the wise men found the family in a house ; but such 
discrepancies don't count in ** inspired " writings. It is possible there 
might have been a manger in the house, because " manger" may be a 
mistranslation. In any case, the difficulty is to see the sign. 

We remember once an unwished-for birth occurring at a Methodist 
Sunday-school picnic, in which case a lady's under-garment served for 
temporary swaddling clothes ; and not long ago a similar event occurred 
in a railway carriage, when the resources of the lady passengers were 
similarly taxed. Here there was room for a sign, if you like ; but plain 
common swaddling clothes ! Where was the halo all this time — the halo 
that all the painters see round the heads of parents and child? That 
must have been a photographic effect, which took about fifteen centuries 
to be developed. 

Canon Cody's chief point seems to have been, that the humble sur- 
roundings of the infancy of Jesus were ** a kind of a sort of a prophecy" 
of his life of poverty and self-sacrifice that *' culminated in the cross ! " 
This is a common-place way of " improving " the story. If the infant 
.lesus had tripped over a stone and broken his nose, this also might be 
regarded as a prophecy of his ultimate fate ; and again, like William's 
fall when landing on the English coast, it might be interpreted as a pre- 
sage of conquest. You pay the fee, and the parson imparts his wisdom 
to you. Such wisdom ! 

Nor can we agree with Canon Cody that " in the supreme moment of 
life, it did not matter whether we were rich or poor." This also is a 
common and easy way of ** improving" the story — for the benefit of the 
poor ; and doubtless it satisfies many of the poor. But what moment 
is the supreme one in a man's life ? Is it the moment of birth or that 
of death ? In both, the possession of ** means" may be vastly important 
to most people, though a stoic may profess to be indifferent to comfort 
or power. Is it that flood-tide in the affairs of men which leads to — 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 3 

riches and honor or poverty and disgrace, but which may be modified 
in either way by the wherewithal ? 

Most men differ from Canon Cody in this matter, his fellow-preachers 
especially. It matters to them very greatly, in the supreme moment 
when they receive a new ** call from God to do His work," whether the 
call comes through a rich or a poor congregation. The dying man may 
not be able to take his riches with him, but he usually evinces a keen 
interest in their ultimate disposition. To him, it matters very greatly 
whether the estate he has worked many years for should be squandered 
by a reckless spendthrift, or carefully conserved and used for the object 
he had in view. 

It is all very well for Canon Cody and other preachers to tell us that 
it is character that counts, not wealth, and so on ; but if they want us 
to believe they are honest in their laudations of poverty, they should 
begin to practise what they preach. Until they make some attempt to 
do this, we can only regard their professional homilies about poverty as 
hypocritical poppycock. 

Rev. Dr. Milligan also " hit up " the poverty lesson, and he was very 
near making a discovery. He said that " From the life of the Carpenter- 
Messiah he drew the lesson that it was through man that God best re- 
vealed himself." Had he gone a little further, he might have got nearer 
the truth by saying that " God had revealed himself only through man," 
and then he might have discovered that all we have to justify the idea is 
this — that some men have said that God has revealed himself to them. 

Rev. Dr. Sparling, at the Methodist Cathedral, talked of the Incarna- 
tion as " the great pivotal feature of God's creative plan ! " We have 
been inclined to look upon ** the Fall" as the pivotal point, for without 
the Fall, the Atonement would have been unnecessary ; and, of course, 
if no Atonement, no Incarnation, no Crucifixion, no Resurrection, no 
Ascension, no Son, no Holy Ghost, no Trinity, no Christianity, and no 
Morality — nothing but a common work-a-day world, evolving, through a 
knowledge of natural law, to higher and higher stages of happiness and 
nobility, unimpeded by Christian ignorance, bigotry and brutality. No, 
the Apple Tree Incident cannot be thus unceremoniously dismissed. 

Mr. Sparling went into some high-sounding rhetoric in this fashion : 

•* The Incarnation is the highest, manifestation of God, the culminating ex 
pression of the method and principles that had always governed the activities 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 



of God. God is tr)ing to incarnate himself in our political, social, religious, 
home, and church life ; and if he is not incarnated in your life and my life it is 
because we have hindered the incarnation by our determination to keep him 
out ! " 

It must require real genius to put this sort of stuff together. What 
is " incarnation ? " Mr. Sparling must have had some extraordinary 
experiences, for he evidently knows that " God is trying to incarnate 
himself in Ontario politics." He surely might easily have chosen a less 
putrid set of circumstances. Why, he is red icing his god to the level 
of Gamey or Stratton, Sam Thompson or Urquhart. Fancy the Almighty 
trying to get into our social life, and being kept out by our determination 
not to let him in ! WHiat meaning can Mr. Sparling attach to the terms 
" god " and " almighty ? " Is an almighty god less powerful than a weak 
man ? And when God incarnates himself into Ontario politics and social 
life, how shall we know it ? Will he appear visibly, in human flesh sub- 
sisting — a veritable Second Coming ? Or is Mr. Sparling's sermon only 
so much meaningless Methodist shibboleth ? 

Dr. Parker, of the Jarvis Street Baptists, thought *' The Pre-eminence 
of Christ " a good Christmas subject. Well, as " I and my Father are 
one," if Christ is not pre-eminent, why do men call themselves Chris- 
tians ? Dr. Parker thought Christ was ** the very image of the invisible 
god ! " But, if God be invisible, how can Dr. Parker justify his opinion ? 
Dr. Parker's logic is identical with that of the nigger who " knew there 
must be a debbil, else how could dey make his picter so bery like him ?" 

** Christ's pre-eminence," said Dr. Parker, in old-time preaching style, 
•* was suggested in his incarnation, vindicated in his resurrection, re-es- 
tablished in heaven, and recognized in meditation." There seems to be 
mighty little of a substantial nature here to prove anything, ignoring 
altogether the tremendous claims made for Jesus. His pre-eminence is 
suggested, vindicated, re-established, and recognized ; bat. Dr. Parker, 
how are you going to prove that the Jesus of the Gospels, if he ever lived, 
was anything more than an ordinary religious enthusiast, uttering many 
foolish and many contradictory maxims, and utterly lacking the needed 
knowledge for formulating an ethical system ? As Goldwin Smith eays, 
we have much Oriental hyperbole; but Oriental hyperbole makes a poor 
moral guide. 

At St. Micliael's (Catholic) Cathedral business began in the dark hours 
before daybreak, masses being said every hour from 6 to 10 a.m. Then, 
at 10.80, His Grace the Archbishop ** pontificated," and Father Ryan 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 



preached. A few words from " His Grace" preceded his announcement 
of a ** plenary indulgence " to all who attended confession and holy 
communion. Which meant, that these favored ones left the church with 
a free pardon for whatever excess they might commit ; they could "enjoy 
themselves just as they damn pleased," without any fear that the priest 
would censure them, whatever the magistrate might say. Surely such 
immoral teaching should not be permitted in our day. 

One part of the decorations of St. Michael's consisted of a represen- 
tation of the manger of Bethlehem. The manger exhibit and the plenary 
indulgence are well matched : they are both rather for beasts than men. 

" GOD." 

The history of the God Idea is one of the strangest of all histories. 
Among civilized peoples, while at all times there have been men who 
ridiculed the popular notions concerning gods and other " divine " beings 
who inhabit a spiritual or supernatural world, from which they are able 
to play tricks with this world of sense, the belief in such strange ideas 
has been almost universal, and seems to be almost universal in our own 
day. We like to think that such a belief must be dissipated by progress 
in real knowledge, but it is clear that that progress may be very great, 
and yet produce but a small effect upon the inherited beliefs and preju- 
dices of the masses. " A little knowledge is a dangerous thing " is as 
true a saying to-day as it ever was ; we see that in many cases it simply 
changes the phase of superstition ; but knowledge is certainly the only 
savior of mankind, and it is our business to make it as effective as is 
possible for the progress of freedom of thought and speech. 

Among the Greeks and Romans considerable progress had been made 
in observation of natural phenomena and in logical discussion of them, 
and many of the ancient philosophers were pronounced disbelievers in 
the old theology. But the civilization of Greece and Rome was wiped 
out entirely by the barbarism that, allied with Christianity, submerged 
the Western world in two millenniums of brutal ignorance, from which 
it is only just beginning to emerge. 

During those two millenniums, while a corrupt, debauched, ignorant, 
and tyrannical priesthood controlled its destinies, the West owned un- 
wavering allegiance to the God Idea, to the witchcraft idea, and to all 
the strange dogmas put forward by the priesthood as founded upon their 
fetich, the Bible. Rabelais and'^'oltaire, Fontenelle and Volney, might 



6 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

expose the vices and crimes and follies of the church, but few indeed of 
even the brightest intellects thought of doubting the existence of some 
sort of a " god." Heretics were simply exterminated, and religion and 
brutality, ignorance and cruelty reigned supreme. 

The Renaissance and the Reformation came, and with them some 
small measure of enlightenment and discussion and toleration. Not 
much, certainly, as Servetus found no less dearly than Bruno; but when 
authority was divided, some progress in freedom was inevitable. 

" When thieves fall out, honest men get their rights," it has been said. 
In this case, however, the " honest " men were too debased to know much 
about their rights or their wrongs. They felt and no doubt resented the 
exactions and tyranny of the priests, but they howled with delight at an 
auto dafe, and they crowded with glee to fiendishly torture old women 
to death for the impossible crime of witchcraft. 

Considering that it has been only in our own day that the first attempt 
has been made to give to the masses an intelligent idea of their rights 
and duties, it is not surprising that even to-day the common people, as 
well as most of the upper classes, are mentally little else than the tools 
and victims of religious and political fakers. 

During all the centuries of Christian supremacy, the God Idea has 
been a great club in the hands of ecclesiastical Thackambaus, wherewith 
they have knocked out the brains of heretics and. benumbed the brains 
of believers. " God " has simply been the will of the priest. 

The people — not only the masses, but the aristocrats also — have been 
so intellectually debased that they have accepted as " sacred truth " the 
theological jargon to which they have been accustomed from infancy, 
without thinking of asking *' the reason why." Had they done so with 
intelligence, they would have inevitably discovered that no proof can be 
given of the existence of God, and that no description of him has ever 
been forthcoming that a Zulu would not laugh to scorn and prove to be 
idiotic unreason. 

In the light of the modern development of real knowledge, however, 
the God Idea is undergoing a transformation, and a few men are begin- 
ning to regard it almost as rationally as other men regarded it tw^enty 
centuries ago. After going through various forms of Polytheism, Mono- 
theism, Deism, Theism, Pantheism, and Atheism, even clergymen are 
beginning to perceive — faintly, it may be — that ** God " is a theme that 
can only be discussed seriously by lunatics or frauds. And the reason 
is plain : the rational argument is entirely on one side. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 



The terms we are compelled to use in describing ** god " are mutually 
ilestructive. The old and present-day orthodox idea of a god is strictly 
that of a person — a powerful man. Such an idea was admirably suited 
to the semi-barbarous peoples of ancient and even modern times who 
believed in good gods and bad gods, witchcraft, sorcery, clairvoyance, 
telepathy, spiritism, talking beasts, and angels. But such an idea is 
utterly destructive of the idea of infinity or omnipotence — the essential 
attributes of a deity. That people believe these two mutually destructive 
qualities can co-exist in their god proves how infantile is their reasoning 
power, or how deeply the orthodox unreason has entered their brains. 

Long ages of intellectual debasement have resulted in the production 
of a mental condition but slightly elevated above that of a new-born 
infant ; and it is with difficulty that even those who have made some 
mental progress, and are largely emancipated from the current ortho- 
doxy, can avoid the logical pitfalls which the unwholesome discussion 
opens before them. 

DR. LYMAN ABBOTT'S GOD. 

A striking instance occurs in the case of Dr. Lyman Abbott, who, in a 
sermon on the Sunday preceding Christmas day, told the Harvard stu- 
dents that he had lost faith in the " First Great Cause " — the old stand- 
by of Christian apologists ; and also said some other things which are 
thus reported in the newspapers : 

" I believe in a God who is in and through and of everything — not an absentee 
God, whom we have to reach through a Bible or a priest or some olher outside 
aid, but a God who is closer to us than hands or feet. Science, literature, and 
liistory tell us that there is one eternal energy, that the Bible no longer can be 
accepted as ultimate, that many of its laws were copied from olher religions, 
that the Ten Commandments did not spring spontaneously from Moses, but 
were, like all laws, a gradual growth, and that man is a creature, not a creation. 

" No thinking man will say there are many energies. The days of polytheism 
are past There is only one energy. That energy has always been working. It 
is an inlelligent energy. No scienlist can deny it. It was workiiig before the 
lime of Christ, even as it is now. For three years the rlouds broke and tl^e 
light flashed through. Then they closed again. 

" Yet god has a personality. We recognize il as we recognize the personality 
of a Titian or an Angelo. Only god is always working, always creating, whereas 
iheir work is done. God stands m;ar us. I'he mother of a deaf, dumb, and 
i>lind child gives her daughter one, two, three gifts wiihout being recognized. 



8 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



Finally, there breaks through the child's intelligence the fact that these gifts, so 
kind, so loving, s[)ring from the same source. It feels the mother's hands and 
face, then throws its arms around her neck and kisses her. Even so we, ever in 
the presence of god, come to realize his proximity and love. God makes for 
good. Man's progress is a progress upward. Each day is better than the last." 

As will be seen, Dr. Abbott practicallv repeats nvhat be said in Toronto 
a few years ago, when he told the Y. M. C. A. students that *' Herbert 
Spencer's Unknowable is God." But he has not yet reached the stage 
of intellectual development which would enable him to see that such a 
definition is totally subversive of his other contention, that " God has a 
personality." 

If God is '* a great and ever-present force, manifest in all the activities 
of man and all the workings of nature ;" if he is " in and through and 
of everything," then necessarily he is everything, he is infinite, and there 
is nothing else in existence but god. And the NewThoughtist is justified 
in crying, *' I am God ! " To which we might respond, " What a god !" 

Men who say that god is infinite and almighty do not seem to be able 
to understand that these terms necessarily exclude the idea of god being 
a person, or manifesting personality, or of any action being possible but 
god's actions. It is one of the strangest phases of the modern discussion 
of the God Idea, that men who refuse any longer to assert that god is a 
person, do not hesitate to claim that, though admittedly but an infinite 
force, god displays personality and intelligence — that a thing which is 
not a person can exhibit the qualities of a person. By substituting the 
word ''personality" for " person" they think they surmount a difficulty. 

Intellectually, such men are strictly in line with those who believed 
that the gods in Valhalla feasted and quarrelled and fought and chopped 
each other into mincemeat one day, only to wake up again next morning 
as sound as ever to once more go through a similar performance. 

And, strangely enough, Dr. Abbott thinks that " no scientist can deny 
that the infinite energy is an intelligent energy;" for intelligence is one 
of the very things which scientists have certainly failed to find in the 
cosmic forces. 

TURNING THE TABLES ON THE RATIONALIST. 

It is another remarkable feature of this modern discussion that, while 
the old theologian used to depend upon alleged miracles, or interferences 
with natural law, to prove the existence of his personal god, the present- 
day superstitionist, tlirowing aside miracles as absurd stories, cites the 



SECULAK THOUGHT. 



immutability of natural law as good evidence of the personality and 
intelligence of a cosmic law-maker — a personal infinite energy. 

Among the Greeks and Eomans, their idea of an over-ruling power 
that controlled the destinies of both gods and men may be considered 
as equivalent to our modern conception of universal law ; but men like 
Lyman Abbott are a generation behind such a conception as this. They 
are in a theological harlequinade of self-obfuscation. 

Dr. Abbott thinks that, like a blind, deaf, and dumb child who comes 
to know and love its mother through her loving gifts, men can, ** in the 
presence of God, come to realize his proximit}" and love." Other men, 
well salaried and pampered like Dr. Abbott, have said the same thing. 
God is wonderfully kind — to those who are surrounded with good things. 
But what about the weaklings, the victims of pestilence and famine and 
accident ? Such rubbish is a disgrace to the intellect of the twentieth 
century. But it marks the church's present-day stage in its progress 
towards rationalism, and perhaps we should not expect more when we 
consider the social and pecuniary interests that stand in the way. 

When Lyman Abbott has given us his three-fold message, how far on 
the road to Atheism has he gone ? 

If we are '* ever in the presence of an infinite and eternal energy," 
which is God, then, as we are a part of that energy, we are, as Fred. 
Burry tells us, all gods. Why not ? But what becomes of the one big 
god? 

If history teaches that *' there is a power outside ourselves that makes 
for righteousness," sliall we find evidence of it in the Russo-Japanese 
war, in an Indian famine, or in the Canadian elections? If so, may we 
not ask, is the lesson painted on the sky, or is it slo.vly and painfully 
worked out by the human intellect ? 

And if the message of literature — "yellow" literature? — is simply a 
repetition of the first, would it not be better to drop " god " altogether 
from the tedious and nauseating discussion, and to try and put the dis- 
cussion of ethical and cosmical problems upon a purely rational basis ? 

There have been many mystifying definitions of " god," but there 
are only two that can lay claim to being in any way rational or logical ; 
the first, that god is an almighty Being; the second, that it is an infinite 
Power. 

In various forms, with differences that only accentuate their folly, the 
first is the basis of Theism, ^nto whatever form it may be put, the 
second is simply Atheism — that is, without a personal god. 



10 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



PROGRESS OF FREETHOUGHT. 

If the preachers are not making very rapid progress in the formula- 
tion of a rational religion, those outside the churches are certainly not 
waiting for them. The recent unique Freethought Congress at Rome 
would seem to prove that the three great Latin peoples, the French, 
Spanish, and Italian, are making great strides in Freethought propa- 
gandism and organization. And there are others. Only a few weeks 
ago, it was announced that the Jews of the East Side, New York, had 
organized a large numher of Freethought societies, and were preparing 
to erect a central temple as their head quarters ; and the Freethought 
delegates to the St. Louis Conference were entertained at the hall of the 
Union of German Freethinkers' Societies of North America, a body that 
comprises a large membership and owns considerable property. 

From Springfield, III, we get news of an equally startling movement 
in Chicago. At a recent meeting of the Baptist General Association, a 
Mr. Clissold, of Morgan Park, who read a paper on ''The Need of Reli- 
gious Work Among Foreigners," asserted that there were twelve thou- 
sand children in *' Bohemian Sunda} -schools " in Chicago, who were 
being taught Atheistical lessons from a catechism, which he exhibited, 
and from which he quoted a few questions and answers : 

•' Q. What is God ? A. It is a word designating a supernatural being which 
people invented and thought out for themselves. God never revealed himself, 
for there is no god. 

" Q. What..is heaven ? A. It is a place imagined by the church, and used as 
faith for believers. 

•' Q. Has man a soul? A. No, it is an invention of the church. 

" Q. What is the church ? A. It is a society of people believing in something 
of which they know nothing, and who, with their money, keep a large crowd of 
useless and lazy beings called priests and ministers. 

" Q. Are faith, hope, and love virtues ? A. They are not virtues, but the 
contrary. They are superstitions, and every superstilion^ is a disgrace. 

"Q. Ought we to pray? A. We ought not. It is a loss of time." 

Mr. Clissold described this catechism as *' stuff and rubbish ;" but, 
though we are not bo tnd to endorse all of its crude statements, we bet 
the Bohemians would be able to show him that it is far nearer the truth 
t lan the '' stufif and rubbish " drilled into the children in his own Chris- 
tian Sunda3'-school8. 

Coming from a Christian source, it is very doubtful if the statement 
is true that there are as many as twelve thousand children being taught 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 11 

in these Bohemian Sunday-schools ; but the other facts we have men- 
tioned clearly prove that, while Britons, Americans, and Canadians are 
almost at a standstill, or even retreating, in their fight with the church, 
the other portions of the Western world are waging an increasingly vic- 
torious campaign against the fundamental bases of supernaturalism. 
*' Back to the Bible ! " is the inane battle-cry of the Anglo-Saxons — the 
mystery-mongering descendants of Puritan and Presbyterian, Calvinist 
and Arminian, who exhibit their religious proclivities in such demented 
performances as those of the Eddyites, Dowieites, Boothites, Pentecostal 
Dancers and the Burning Bush, and the multitudinous sects that to-day 
have converted the Protestant world into an intellectual pandemonium. 

POVERTY IN THE EPISCOPAL PALACE. 

The humble follower of the Carpenter of Nazareth, who occupies the 
throne of the Bishopric of London, Dr. Ingram, makes a plaintive cry 
for more salary. He only receives $50,000 a year, and he asserts that 
during the last three years his expenses have exceeded by $25,000 the 
income of his see. Dr. Ingram is a bachelor, too, and some people are 
wondering what he would have done if he had had a wife and family 
to maintain in addition to his present Habilities. 

It is noted that, in France, $2,000 for a bishop and $5,000 for an 
archbishop are thought to be good annual stipends ; but then, you know, 
France is not like England, and these French prelates are Catholics, and 
perhaps their foreign gibberish has to be translated into understandable 
English before it reaches the throne of grace. 

For a real solid English prelate, who has to keep up a princely esta- 
blishment, with two palaces costing $6,000 a year for repairs, stables 
and horses that cost $4,500 a year, farms and gardens costing $3,500 (a 
bishop couldn't descend to making his farms return a profit), and mis- 
cellaneous household expenses amounting to $8,000 a year, exclusive of 
$2,000 for fuel and gas and $2,500 for income-tax, one may believe not 
much margin remains out of a paltry $50,000 a year income. 

And one wonders why men run after such jobs. Does tlie honor of 
being treated like a prince, sitting in the House of Lords, and dispenf>ing 
a large amount of patronage, form such an overwhelming attraction that 
poor clergymen cannot resist it, even when it entails a loss of $25,000 a 
year? Possibly. But, if so, one wonders how it is that the Anglican 
bishops and archbishops who Itave died within the last half-century have 



12 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

left estates averaging $200,000, while at least one was a millionaire. Do 
bishops and archbishops know how to lie as well as to preach ? 

From Jesus to Ingram and Benson i« a long step, in morality as well 
as in time. From a prophet with one seamless garment riding on an ass 
and the foal of an ass, to a gaitered and mitred and befrilled prelate, 
riding in a gilded coach, footmen in attendance, and stables and horses 
alone costing enough to keep half a dozen families in comfort ! If Jesus 
taught the brotherhood of man, what does Dr. Ingram teach ? God only 
knows; but that he practices " graft" of the m j.-jt barefaced sort, what- 
ever his teachings may be, seems to be our only justifiable conclusion. 

THE ROMAN CATHOLIC ADVANCE IN ONTARIO. 

Downeyville, Ont., is the scene of the latest exploit of the Roman Ca- 
tholic hierarchy in the way of capturing the schools of Ontario. For 
many 3^ears a public school has existed in this village, the ratepa^yers 
being both Protestants and Catholics ; but recently a Separate (Catholic) 
School Board was organized, and, by means of the usual pressure, the 
school building w'as secretly sold by the Catholic officials to the Separate 
School Board for a nominal sum ($5 it is said). The school, of course, 
is now under the direct control of a Catholic priest. 

Naturally, if the Government of Ontario did its duty in the premises, 
and supported the Education Departriient in insisting upon the proper 
school curriculum being pursued in every school, with the aid of the 
authorized text-books and fully qualified and certificated teachers, there 
might not be a vast amount of damage done ; but it is well known that 
in all these cases, not only are totally incompetent teachers employed, 
but not the slightest attempt is made to carry out the system of educa- 
tion designed for the public schools. 

One feature of the present case shows itself in the fact that, while the 
Protestants are afraid, for business and other reasons, to do much kick- 
ing, some of the Catholics who are in favor of the public school system 
are also afraid of incurring the anathemas of the church by expressing 
their opinions. The cliurch still has enormous power, through excom- 
munication and refusal of the '* sacraments," to terrorize recalcitrants. 

The incident is another evidence of the big strides the Catholic church 
is makinjr in Ontario ; and Downeyville is only one of a number of vil- 
lages in its neighborhood that seem destined to be dealt with in the same 
way. Gradually the priests are wiping out education in Eastern Ontario. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 13 



Co «e, or mot Zo Be ? 

:o: 

BV WINNIPEG. 

:o: 

That is the question which is agitating my mind at the present moment. Is 
there to be a controversy in Winnipeg on " Evolution versus Christianity,"' or is 
there not to be one? Much I fear there will be none. I'his is how it started. 
A few days ago St. Boniface was all agog over the great Roman Catholic feast of 
the Immaculate Conception. Preaching on that inconceivable fact, Rev. Father 
Drummond, S.J., at St. Mary's Church, Winnipeg, alluded incidentally to the 
theory of Evolution and spoke sneeringly of the " men who pretended to great 
learning" who had given birth to that doctrine. Of course we all know who the 
men are " who pretended to great learning " — Darwin, Huxley, and their friends 
and fellow-laborers in science. To speak of such men as persons " pretending 
to great learning," siniply reflects upon the ability of the Rev. Father himself, and 
shows at once what kind of arguments he would use. 

A synopsis of the sermon appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press of Dec. 6, the 
chief passages of which were the following : 

•' Men who pretended to great learning had given to the world the theory of 
evolution and had supported it by experiments and facts concerning the lower 
order of animals. But it still remained absolutely impossible to prove that man 
had risen from an animal. There were no scientific proofs in favor of the theory 
and strong proofs against it ; and besides it was inconsistent with the Christian 
faith. Whatever may be the limits of evolution established by science in the 
future there will always be overwhelming arguments against the theory of the 

progress of man Apart from all religious considerations, we find the 

proof of some degeneracy. We aim at high things but don't reach them The 
Christian says this degeneracy is due to original sin, and it is the most satisfactory 

explanation of the human weakness It has been proved that the poor 

to-day in England are much worse off than they were in the fourteenth century. 
Socialists, seeing this inequality, say : ' Let us divide the property equally.' But 
to abolish individual right in property is an error and consequently it can lead to 
no good. The socialists' mistake is that they do not take into account original 
sin. . . , Christianity's object was to mitigate as far as possible the effects of 
original sin, and he claimed that through the influence of the church the poor 
were happier in Catholic countries than anywhere else." 

On the* loth of December, in the same paper, was published a letter from 
"" Dr. Biiller, recently appointed Professor of Botany in the University of 
Manitoba." The professor took up the cudgels on behalf of the dead scientists 
who "pretended to great learning." I cut out that letter, intending to inclose it 
with the cuttings I now send, but, unfortunately, it escaped my custody. 

On Dec. 19, the Free Press published a letter from Father Drummond, in 
which, as I understand it, he expresses a desire to argue the question. You will 
see for yourself, Mr. Editor, what the reverend gentleman says ; and i)erhapsyou 
will kindly quote as much as yrrii think necessary for the purpose of renderif g 



14 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

my meaning clear. Of course, if Father Drummond can prove to the satisfaction 
of present *' men who pretend to great learning " the virginity of Mary after she 
became a mother, he must be a giant in debate. Erasmus, proving that the 
color of snow is black, not white, is a mere prattler to such a logician. But 
Father Drummond did prove it ; and I can picture to myself the look of amused 
satisfaction that fitted across the countenance of that distin.^u shed lady as she 
bent her pretty head over a bow window of a mansion in the skies to listen to 
what an unmarried father had to say about the character of a virgin mother. 

"EVOLUIION and CHRISTIANITY. 

" Editor Free Press. 

"Sir, — The letter which you published last Saturday from Dr. BuUer, recently 
appointed professor of botany in the University of Manitoba, evidently suggested 
a reply. Far from considering that letter a personal attack, I am rather 
pleased at the opportunity it may afford for a fuller explanation of my argument 
on evolution and the supposedly infinite future progress of the human race. The 
report, which Dr. Duller quotes from your columns, though substantially correct 
so far as it goes, is very incomplete, since it does not represent more than a small 
fraction of what I said on this subject in my sermon of the 5th inst. 

" But, before entering upon any argument, I wish to draw attention to the 
most striking sentence in Dr. Buller's letter : ' If the evolution of man,' my 
learned friend wrote, 'is "at variance with Christianity," so much the worse for 
Christianity.' Without laying undue stress on a phrase thrown off under the 
nerve-racking influence of * blank astonishment ' and * sorrow ' at my hardihood 
by 'one of the liege men of Natural' (big N, please), 'science,' I beg to inforni 
Dr. Duller that the twentieth section of the University Act (Consolidated Statutes, 
cap. 63) contains these words : ' It shall not be lawful for any m mber of the 
council ... to do, or cause, or suffer to be done, anything that would render it 
necessary, or advisable, with a view to academical success or distinction, that 
any person should pursue the study of any materialistic or sceptical system of 
logic, or mental or moral philosophy.' Now, as those who either reject Chris- 
tianity or apologize it into a metaphor generally drift into materialism, I think I 
am justified in putting to Dr. BuUer a question which will serve, so to speak, to 
clear the decks for action. My question is simply this : Does Dr. BuUer hold 
the spirituality and immortality of the human soul? Upon his answer to this 
question will depend my line of argument. 

"As I have been obliged, through illness, to put off this introductory reply 
for a week, perhaps Dr. Duller might do likewise, and answer my question next 
Saturday. This would give both of us busy men more time to do justice to a 
very important subject. "Lewis Drummond, S.J. 

" St. Boniface, Dec. 16, 1904." 

It appears to me that what spurred Father Drummond to the controversial 
point was a sentence in the professor's letter which ran thus : " If the evolution 
of man is at variance with Christianity, so much the worse for Christianity.'^ 
This expressiou is met with a vicious reminder : the Reverend Father begs to 
(|uote, for the benefit of the professor, a portion of the University Act, which 
orbids the " study of any materialistic or sceptical system of logic^ or mental or 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 15 

moral philosophy." With such a proviso in a debate there could be no discussion 
of a sensible nature. If any doctrine is founded on truth, the foundation 
vouches fur the doctrine. It is the false and the evil which shun investigation. 
The above was written a little after midnight, Dec. 22-23 5 since then the 
Free f'ress of Dec. 23 has been published. It contains a letter from the learned 
professor, which is as follows : 

" Editor Free Press. 

"Sir, — In answer to Father Drummond, let me begin by offering him my 
sympathy in his illness, which, he states, put off his reply to my letter for a week. 
In accordance with his request, I have delayed a few days before sending you 
this communication. 

*' In my letter of Dec. 10, I asked Father Drummond to produce his ' strong 
proofs ' that man has not descended from a lower animal, and dissented em- 
phatically from his assertion that there are 'overwhelming arguments against the 
theory of the progress of man.' I also pointed out how illogical is the position 
of those who admit evolution for all animals except man. 

" In replying, Father Drummond has avoided these points, and has raised a 
number of side issues which have nothing whatever to do with the facts upon 
which the theory of evolution is based. Quotations from Acts of Parliament and 
an expression of opinion on the mysteries of man's inner life are quite irrevelant 
in this connection. 

"The main issue raised in your columns, and justly recognized by your cor- 
respondent ' H ' in his letter on ' The Ancestry of Man,' is clear enough. Is 
man descended from a lower animal, or is he not ? Biologsts have long answered 
the question in the affirmative, and do not even think the matter open for further 
discussion among themselves. The conclusion of the biologists, one of the most 
important of modern science, has, if one may judge by current literature, been 
also accepted by most educated j)eople who have thought about the subject. 
Notwithstanding, Father Drummond has taken upon himself the responsibility of 
stating in public that there is ' overwhelming evidence ' disproving man's evolution. 
Of coursi. Father Drummond may be right, and such men as Darwin, Wallace, 
Hux'ey, Romanes, Haeckel, and many others, who have spent a great part of 
their lives in patiently and dispassionately examining at first hand the facts upon 
which the theory of evolution is based, may all be wrong Equally wrong may 
afso be the present teachers of biology in the universities of the world and the 
text-books which they use. But until Father Drummond produces his * strong 
proofs 'and his ' overwhehning evidence' that his negations were justified, I 
shall be content to express my entire agreement with a statement made by Pro- 
fessor Huxley, as far back as 1876. in a lecture delivered in New York upon 
' The Demonstrable Evidence of Evolution,' namely : * The whole evidence is in 
favor of evolution and there is none against it.' The collection of a vast mass of 
further data during the last thirty years has only served to give additional weight 
to this carefully formed conclusion. 

•' When I reflect how long the half-way evolution theory, such as Father 
Drummond hoi's has been discarded in the world of biology and by those who 
have kept themselve-; abreast of t^ir time in scientific matters, I am reminded 
of a passage from a celebrated play : 



16 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



" ' What may this mean, 
That thou, dead corse, again, in complete steel, 
Revisit'st thus the glimpses of the moon, 
Making night hideous?' 

" When I came to this up-to-date city of Winnipeg a few months ago, I little 
expected to meet with the ghost of a long-deceased scientific theory. But such 
has been the case, and the ' dead corse ' has afforded me one of the most re- 
markable of my new experiences. 

" A. H. Reginald Buller. 
*' The University of Manitoba, 

"The Botanical Department" 



IRcverence for ''Sacreb'' ZbiwQe. 



:o: 



BY GEORGE ALLEN WHITE. 

:o: 

I. 

" For the interest, therefore, of truth and justice, it is far more important to 
restrain this [orthodox] employment of vituperative language than the other 
[heretical] ; and, for example, if it were necessary to choose, there would be 
much more need to discourage offensive attacks on infidelity than on religion. 
— John Stuart Mill. 

A FREQUENT complaint of Christians is that Freethinkers do not show 
sufficient *' reverence for sacred things." It is contended that ridicuL' 
and *' scoffing " are utterly out of place when *' divinity " is under con- 
sideration, and that indulgence in them only stamps the user as a boor. 

What is a sacred thing? Is there anything sacred in all the earth ? 
—anything outside of it ? Look at the mighty processes of cosmic evo- 
lution : worlds and stars and universes forming, and then dissolving into 
their pristine elements ; life evolving from planetary slime, and reaching 
higher levels only at the price of terrible struggle and suffering and pro- 
digious slaughter. A furnace — a charnel-house — an iceberg : such is the 
history of worlds. Nothing can be found anywhere in space that calls 
on man for *' reverence " — nothing so sacred as to require genuflexions 
or stultification. We see only a remorseless and automatic eternity. 

What is the significance of sacred things? Let us probe the matter 
for a moment and find out. So doing, we soon shall see that things are 
considered sacred in just the proportion that they supposedly minister 
in ultimate results to human selfishness. 

Most people love the country where they happened to be born, and 
solely because it is theirs. How sacred war is held to be, and patriotism, 
and the ornate trimmings of gory nationalism ; and with what punish- 
ment is he visited who fails constantly to reverence these fetiches ! The 
family, home, and parenthood, conducing as they are supposed to do 
more than aught else to the happiness of the ego, must be especially 
reverenced. Whoever- should soberly make light of this sexual-institu- 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 17 



tion, which contributes so much to the net pleasure of man, would pass 
for a monster. 

But the greatest of all self-regarding ideas and cults are those positing 
a future life of endless bliss as a reward for the observance in the present 
life of certain formulas and bungling obeisances. The intense selfism of 
such cults is invariably glozed over with pretentiously altruistic triviali- 
ties and hypocritical incidentals that deceive no one. The reason why 
religion alone demands for itself more reverence than everything else 
combined is, that in it are involved infinitely more of the self-regarding 
motives than inhere in all other things. Let a man conceive of you as 
one who would take away an eternal joy prepared for himself —it makes 
little difference to his befuddled selfishness whether any other of earth's 
billions is to share it with him or not — and small wonder that you are 
immediately put under the ban and asked in imperative tones to bend 
the knee before his talisman admitting to the Elysian Fields. Let him 
believe only in the Nirvana of the Buddhist, however, and, there being 
little but ultimate extinction in that concept to be ** taken away," he will 
not be seriously affected by even the harshest of ridicule. This largely 
accounts for the well-known tolerance of Buddhists. 

Although nothing is sacred, although nothing is entitled to demand 
such a regard as is generally implied by reverence, tact must be used as 
to when and where to employ ridicule. The lapse of the term " sacred" 
from our vocabularies does not empower us to foist scurrility and fecu- 
lence upon every one who may be encountered. Wilfully to hurt people's 
feelings without any moral purpose in view is simply to get one's self 
known as a meddlesome, repulsive gargoyle, better dead than living. 

To stalk down the aisle of a church with swinging arms and defiant 
mien, and to interrupt the services by challenging the worshippers to 
debate ; to overturn the communion wine because its use is but a foolish 
superstition ; to mock the superstitious rites of a father burying his 
child ; to leap and dance along the highway at the funeral of a clergy- 
man ; — all this and more would be uncalled-for, not to say extravagant 
and imbecile. 

Whatever is absurd may be a fair target for polite and tolerant ridi- 
cule, particularly when the colla[)se of the absurdity would be plainly 
for human welfare. But a poor, ignorant church communicant, com- 
pelled to work hard for a living, and who, feeling his great weakness, is 
desirous of leaning on an imagined higher power, is hardly a proper 
subject for levity as long as he exhibits any tolerance towards mode- 
rately-worded argumentative presentments of truth by the Freethinker. 
Jonah and the Whale, however, and siiiilar rubbish with which the 
Bible abounds, are always in season as butts for intelligent derision. 

Usually, Freethinkers fall back upon ridicule only as a last resort — as 
a sting, 80 to speak — when reason and common sense presented with 
studied courtesy are found to have no effect other than to excite abhor- 
rence. It is a natural weaponjof the rebuffed. At the start it is rarely 
used. Nobody more than the Freethinker realizes that in perhaps the 



18 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



majorit}^ of cases it is a sure way of hardening the heart against truth, 
even if naturally receptive thereto. When one contemplates, however, 
the greeting which in all ages has been accorded even temperate hints 
regarding the fallibility of the Bible, one cannot be surprised that the 
outward form of respect for it, which might otherwise remain to some 
slight degree, has been entirely thrown to the winds by persecuted Intel- 
ligence, and with large numbers has given place to slurs and jests. 

But, in addition to this function, ridicule has a more exalted one in the 
world's economy. Some men are amenable to ridicule who would smile 
stolidly at prosy facts. When bigotry and stupidity defy argument, their 
attention sometimes may be caught by the mocker, and an entrance in- 
side their armor be effected. 

Voltaire's excoriation of Catholicism and the foibles of mediaeval faith 
will live ever in memory as a priceless service to mankind. Buckle says 
of him : 

" His irony, his wit, his pungent and telling sarcasms, produced more effect 
than the gravest arguments could have done ; and there can be no doubt that 
he was fully justified in using those great resources with which nature had en- 
dowed him, since" by their aid he advanced the interests of truth, and relieved 
men from some of their most inveterate prejudices " 

Nor can there be any doubt about Ingersoll. In America, he laughed 
hell out of court, so that to-day it is outlawed, and to mention it is to 
invite from cultured religious people a smile like that which no doubt 
played on the countenance of Ingersoll when years ago he began his 
campaign against hell. 

Mrs. Matilda Moore, step-sister of Abraham Lincoln, declares that as 
a boy he was accustomed to make fun of religion : 

" When father and mother would go to church, Abe would take down the 
Bib'e, read a verse, give out a hymn, and we would sing. Abe was about fifteen 
years of age. He preached, and we would do the crying." 

So, too, John Hall, son of Mrs. Moore : 

-"At these meetings, my mother would lead in the singing, while Uncle Abe 
would lead in prayer. Among his numerous supplications, he prayed God to 
put stockings on the chickens' feet in winter." 

{To be continued) 



God is immutable, or, in other words, not susceptible to change. Nevertheless, 
we find among his letters and papers that he has frequently changed his projects, 
his friends, and even his religion. All these changes are, of course, without 
prejudice to his immutability, or to that of his immutable priests, who are un- 
changing and steadfast in their purpose of leading laymen by the nose to the end 
of all time. — Fo//rt/reJ. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. -19 



1904 an& 1905. 

:o: 

BY F. J. GOULD. 

Where are the Christian achievements of the past year? In the intellectual 
realm orthodoxy has been barren — I was going to say astonishingly barren ; but 
there is no cause for astonishment in the barrenness of the Church. The foolish 
person who thinks the recent Welsh revival is a mark of renewed life in the 
ancient faith has learned very little of the art of religious observation. These 
animal excitements and spiritual debaucheries are periodically demanded by the 
soul and the physique of the irrational classes. A newspaper correspondent tells 
us that, as a lesuU of the numerous conversions of Welsh colliers, the horses in 
the mines are ** dazed " at the unaccustomed absence of oaths. But the horses 
would know better if their area of study were enlarged. Ignorant natures call 
for spasms of holiness from time to time, as drunkards call for drams. It is a 
crude substitute for education. The real test of the triumph of Christianity 
would consist in the capture of the world's science, art and politics. There is 
not the faintest sign of any such retrogression. I have heard a well-informed 
lecturer remark of the Danes that they are practically Agnostics. We are all 
aware that the same may be said of the J.ipanese. When it is possible to 
characterize the intellectual position of two such widely different populations, the 
Christian must be singularly sanguine who still fancies the kingdoms of the 
world will become the possession of " the Lord and of his Christ." 

The Christians have produced no book with a living message, and they have 
produced no preachers. Look round the churches, from the Catholic to the 
Primitive Methodist. Their pulpits give no prophecy, and they yield no oracle 
to the inquiring crowd. Who cares what any bishop says on the problems of 
human destiny ? Is there a single dissenting minister who has equal weight 
among thoughtful people with Mr. John Morley or Mr. Frederic Harrison ? The 
public sense of humor has been exercised by the Rev. Mr. Campbell's quarrel 
with the working men of England. This is the sublime level to which Noncon- 
formity has managed to scramble — a squabble with the non-church-going artisan ! 
It holds a similar position in the field of education. There also it is engaged in 
a wrangle ; this time with its brother believer, the Anglican Church. I will ven- 
ture to repeat here what I have said for the last two years, that the Education 
Act of 1902 has materially assisted progress. From close view of its effects as 
revealed in the machinery of a provincial Town Council, I have no hesitation in 
affirming that it is raising the tone and efficiency of the people's schooling. The 
whole tendency is to co-ordinate primary and secondary training, with increased 
facilities for the development of talent among the children of the wage-earning 
masses. It is true that the Act needs amendment in the direction of popular 
control ; but that will follow in^due season. In the meantime the futile and 



20 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



contemptible policy of the Passive Resisters is bound to collapse. The history 
of rtligion in this country shows no more wretched spectacle than that presented 
t)y the Nonconformist critics of the Education Act. While they protest against 
certain forms of theological teaching and while they cry out against the imposition 
of sectarian Tests upon teachers, they will not, openly, publicly, and as a body, 
-answer the plain question, Do you desire to retain any kind of theological in- 
struction (ihatis, lessons about God) in the rate-supported and tax-aided schools? 
The controversy entirely turns upqp the reply to this question, and the Noncon- 
formists will not honestly give one. And while they thus remain dumb, their 
attitude is the very ideal of paltry ineptitude. 

So much has been said and written of the Freethought Congress at Rome that 
a brief record of one's satisfaction with the event may suffice. Its international 
character admirably eniphasized the fact that, in the modern world, the intellec- 
tual movement is occidental rather than national. There is no German Free- 
thought, or French, or English ; there is a Freethought of the West, including 
America and our colonies. And this new Rationalism is preparing to absorb 
the mind of entire civilization. I do not mean that the progressive sections of 
the race will merely adopt Agnosticism or Atheism, and there rest. I regard 
Agnosticism or Atheism as the necessary platforms on which to build the religion 
of the future, with spiritual and ceremonial constructions suited to the varied 
temperaments of the Western and the Eastern souls — of Europe, India, China, 
Japan, etc. Indeed, so sure may we be of the victory of the Raiionalisiic policy, 
that already the thoughts of the more far-seeing thinkers should be devoted to 
the double problems of educating the masses of the West and of modifying the 
religions of the East. At home (that is to say, in Europe and America) we must 
not only clear away the relics of clericalism from school and college ; we must 
establish a system of teaching superior to the present. And abroad we must 
supersede the useless and injurious work of the Christian missionary by a sym- 
pathetic method of introducing to the oriental apprehension the scientific 
achievements of the West. We may enter the new year with every confidence 
that these dreams will be ultimately realized. — Literary Guide. 

flDat) fll>ur&ocft'6 Hnimal StoriC0. 

THE AUTOBIOGRArHY OF A HORSE. 

WITH SOME MENTION OF HIS FRIENDS. 

I WAS born thirteen long summers since. My mother was honest and my father 
never told a lie in his life. My first guardian was a farmer, with whom I lived' 
till I was eleven, earning my oats by honest toil. By that time I learned some 
fence tricks, and got some oats '.hat were not meant for me. The farmer got rid 
of me by trading me cfif to a dealer for a buirgy and set of harness. Farmer said 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 21 



I was past six. Trader said buggy was nearly new and cost $200.00. Farmer 
sold buggy and harness for $42.50. Trader sold me lo a horse doclor for $45.00; 
said he wanted a hack. I got some hard hacking. The Secretary of ihe Humarle 
Society had a dog — a pug Dog got sick one night and she sent by telephone 
for my master. Drive was four miles in mud and some ice. Doctor cut me 
hard, and I went as fast as I could, but slipped on the ice and got hme. When 
we got to where the dog was, dog was dead, and lady, in torrent of tears, wanted 
to know why doctor didn't come sooner. Horse was hard driven, would have 
been killed if driven baider. She didn't care, would have paid for ten horses- 
being killed rather than that poor, dear Dick should suffer so. Doctor said he 
was sorry, and so he was, afraid he'd lose lady's trade Sold me to a carter. 
Carter was poor, and harness was bad. Collar chafed my shoulder ; he put some 
sugar of lead on it, but it looked bad. Carter had little girl sick, and five other 
little ones that were hungry. Carter had to hustle, delivering coal at 25c. a load. 
Coal man was Treasurer of Humane Society and Vice-President Y.M.C.A , and 
made $1 75 a ton on coal after paying for carting, but then he said to my boss, 
the carter, that he had to take all the risk and chance— risk was that people 
mightn't want coal. 

Well, one day we had a ton to deliver on Rotten Block Street. Wheel got 
stuck in a hole — street as full of holes as the lake is of waves on a rough day. 
President of Humane Society owns a lot of hcTuses on street, and won't have it 
paved because it would raise 1 is taxes. Carter got off to 1 ft on wheel, and told 
me to "get up." I started. Shoulder hurt a bit, and I let the cart back again. 
Carter took hold of spokes and lifted hard, and shouted to me to '* get up." I 
" got up," but a block shifted under my front foot, and I slipped. Cart wheel 
went back with a jerk into the hole, and hit carter in the stomach, and skinned 
his shin. Carter got mad and gave me a cut with the whip. I gave a jump and 
took the new skin off my shoulder and it began to bleed. Then / got mad and 
wouldn't pull at all. Carter cut me again and swore at me. Then a man with 
a cane in his hand came along, and said to the carter that he should take half of 
the sacks off the cart, and had no right to whip a horse anyway. Carter evidently 
didn't know his business, or hovf to drive a horse. Carter told him to mind his 
own business. Man with cane went and called a policeman. Policeman came 
and looked on and said that that wasn't the way to drive a horse. Carter said 
that if policeman was anything but a big, lazy swine he'd help shove instead of 

finding fault. Policeman said he wouldn't take chat like that from no 

carter that ever driv' a wagon. Horse was galled, and the Humane Society 
would trim the carter on account of the sore shoulder, and the magistrate woiild 
trim him for sas-ing the police on duty. Then they had a row, and two more 
cops came, and when it was over, one policeman had a black eye, another had 
a bad kick in the ribs, and my boss was lying on the sidewalk with a club cut on 
his head that took seven stitches, and I was unhitched and brought home by a 



22 SECULAK THOUGHT. 



b:)y who knew my boss. In a few days my boss was able to appear, and got six 
months in the Central for cruelty to animals, and $20.00 and costs for assaulting 
and resisting the police. I was sold to an undertaker to pay the fine and costs, 
and the first work I did in my new place was at the funeral of the carter's little 
girl, who died for want of medicine. The carter's wife couldn't support the 
children, and the Superintendent of Neglected Children took them away and put 
them out with kind farmers, who will treat them nearly as well as they do their 
hogs. 

Thus do all things work together for good. The policeman got a job, the 
magistrate and the Crown Attorney got a job each ; the Humane Society and 
the Superintendent of Neglected Children were given a chance to practise their 
"good works," and the undertaker got a cheap horse, a chance to look sad, and 
an occasion afforded to sing, as he did the next Sunday : " Praise God from 
whom all blessings flow." 

Moral : " If you would scatter blessings broadcast, be an old horse with a 
galled shoulder." 

CORRESPONDENCE. 

THE EDITOR'S CHRISTMAS-BOX. 

Editor Secular Thought. 

Sir, — You ask, " VVill«?you help ? " Yes, indeed ! We will help, thousands 
strong. I hope. That much-desired turkey must come. Not by praying super- 
natural powers to send it, as the old darkey's experience warns us of the inutility 
and uncertainty of all such appeals. But the Business Manager will go and 
fetch it, after paying off some of those " pressing claims." 'I'hat there should 
be " pressing claims " upon the only voice raised against religious superstition 
among the six millions of Canadians inhabiting such a magnificent country as 
ours, stretching from Lake St Clair in the south to Cape Washington in the 
north, and from Cape St. Charles in the east to Port Simpson in the west, and 
aggregating 3,745,574 square miles, is difficult to contemplate with equanimity. 

Just imagine for one moment the only voice crying aloud for rationalism and 
religious freedom in that vast wilderness of religious superstition, having " press- 
ing claims " against it from landlord, paper-dealer, type-founder, etc., endangering 
its very existence ! Lest some of the friends " forget," I send four times the 
amount asked — one dollar. 

Is it not time for the religious and medical reformers to combine ? Only one 
•voice of protest, from the religious point of view, throughout our broad land, 
where we ought to have a dozen ; and not even one medical journal or paper 
known to the writer in the interest of rational medication, to lift up its voice in 
that vast wilderness of Pills and Powders ! 

We have had so far to depend entirely upon our neighbors to the south for 
the five or six magazines which are uttering their loud protest against the immi- 
nent danger from *'the drug that corrodes." They, indeed, are doing an immense 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 2a 



and much needed service in emancipating the human mind from the thraldom 
of physiological ignorance which everywhere prevails to such an alarming extent. 

" Hot burns the fire where wrongs expire, 
Nor spares the hand that from the land 
Uproots the ancient evil." 

R. J. Moffat. 

THE TELEO-MECHANICS OF NATURE. 
Editor Secular Thought. 

Sir, — Allow me to interject a few words in your highly interesting controversy 
with Professor B. F. Underwood on the subject of Materialism You say in your 
" amended definition " of the term, in your issue of Oct 29th, that " life and 
intelligence are results of the highest known forms of material organization" 
How do you reconcile this with the fact that life and intelligence are manifested 
in the lowest known forms of organic matter in precisely the same manner as 
they are manifested in the highest orders of life, including man, namely, in their 
movements, their various emotions, their sensitiveness and purposive activities, 
which in fecundated cells are so pronounced that Professor T. H. Huxley com- 
pared them to " those of invisible artists who with their plans before them strive 
with skilled manipulation to perfect their work "? 

That a psychic element is resident in and associated with the psycho-dynamic 
properties of the constituents of matter is recognized by Professor Haeckel in 
these words on page 220 of "The Riddle of the Universe" : " As to my own 
opinion — and that of many other scientists — I must lay down the following 
thesis .... as indispensable to a truly monistic view of substance, and one that 
covers the whole field of organic and inorganic Nature : The two fundamental 
forms of substance, ponderable matter and ether, are not dead and moved only 
by extrinsic force, but they are endowed with sensation and will (though, natur- 
ally, of the lowest grade) ; they experience an inclination for condensation, a 
d'slike of strain ; they strive after the one and struggle against the other." 

It so happens, you will notice, that Huxley and Haeckel employ the same 
term in describing or defining the psychic activities of atom and protist, namely, 
" strive,"— a '"term of mind," both atom and protist ''striving'' to attain certain 
definite ends \n the way of condensation, aggregation or amalgamation (as the 
case may be) which strivings have resulted on one side (the atomic) in the inor- 
ganic bodies of matter or force, and on the side of the Protista in the wondrous 
structures of the organic kingdom. 

Haeckel qualifies his version of the sensation and will of atoms by saying 
very "considerately " that these psychic properties are, naturally, of the lowest 
grade. It strikes me very forcibly through the experiences I have had in former 
controversies on this subject (extending over thirty-five years) that my opponents, 
in their desperate "strivings " not to understand the true nature and inferiority 
of this atomic property, " naturally " persist in comparing it with, or viewing it 
from, their own standpoint, which must, as ''nntuially " make the atomic mind- 
theory look quite ridiculous and preposterous. But this we must as " naturally " 
attribute to the perverseness of human nature ! One consolation, however, is 
the fact that despite this perverseness the said indispensable element to a rational 
and scientific interpretation of all nMural phenomena, has at last been recognized 
by scientists, as might have naturally been expected it would be sooner or later. 



24 SECULAK THOUGHT, 



If, then, intelligence is not the result of the highest known forms of material 
organization — what is it ? Divested of all buncombe and the occultism and 
mysticism with which metaphysical speculators have, in their ignorance, invested 
it, it is simply intelligence, just as light is light, heat is heat or electricity is 
electricity, and like these it is also subject to constant conversion from higher to 
lower forms, and, conversely, from the highest states, as manifested in cultivated 
human intellects, down to the very lowest and most inferior atomic mind-principle 
again. And that intelligence is an entity (though naturally an impalpable or im- 
ponderable one like its associate dynamic element which manifest themselves 
in the physical forms of force) is conceded by Professor Haeckel in these words 
on page 221 : " Even the most elaborate and most perfect forms of energy that 
we know — the psychic life of the higher animals, the thought and reason of man 
— depend on material processes, or changes in the neuroplasm of the ganglionic 
cells ; they are inconceivable apart from such modifications." 

That mind in its ever-varying phases, forms and degrees (of intensity) depends 
upon the physical changes of the material substratum (organic or inorganic) with 
which it is inalienably associated, I have never disputed, but also hold that the 
physical (or dynamic)and the psychical elements of matter mutually or reciprocally 
affect each other; that is to say, the psychic element governs the physical 
property 10 a certain extent, and this, to a certain degree affects or controls the 
psychical property. 

Through organization of the atomic and molecular constituents of material 
bodies the mind-element finally becomes pre-potent over the physico dynamic 
substratum, so that it is able to manifest its existence in the emotional, purposive, 
and hence intelligent activities of the organized matter. In the physical forms 
of force the dynamic element is pre-potent over the psychic element, though this 
governs it in a, to us, imperceptible degree, unless we see in the purposive 
movements of many inorganic bodies of matter or forces, such as the gyrations 
of the suns and planets, sunlight, heat, electricity, etc., all of which hive their 
certain utilities in the evolvement of life, manifestations of the lower forms of 
intelligence in matter. 

Even in the various forms of attraction we may see the principle of love — the 
most powerful psychic emotion —revealed. Or, as Haeckel views it : " ' Attrac- 
tion ' and ' repulsion' seem to be the sources of will" (p. 127). But volition is 
only one of the phases in which love manifests itself. 

Be this as it may, a psychic element is clearly operative in all forms of attrac- 
tion and repulsion, though only manifest in its desire to enter into more or less 
intimate relations with all atoms (force-centres) or molecules that come within 
range of its infiaence and is reciprocally affected by a cognate psychic element. 
This mutual psychic attraction or affinity resulted in the formation of all bodies 
of matter. Hence in this sense must all forms of matter be regarded as transient 
phenomena, they being in an ultimate analysis reducible to viio-psychic force — 
the only infinite entity pervading space. 

Admitting, then, that sensation and will — the properties of the fundamental 
forms of substance — ar^^of a psychic nature, then all Materialists of the Haeckelian 
school of philosophy will concede that mind is a property of matter, which you 
dispute in third paragraph on page 467. Also that mind " is as truly a property of 
oxygen gas in the same sense as that in which we say it is a property of brain 
substance." 

Mind is mind wherever we fiixi it, though it is of an infinite variety, forms and 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 25 

degrees, even as we find this to be true in the various forms of mind that come 
under our daily observation, it being sometimes seemingly impossible for one 
person to understand the other, though they may be equally intelligent. 

This is one of the strange and inexplicable characteristics of mind— its great 
diversity under evtn the slightest mod fication of physiological action and struc- 
ture. If, then, it is almost impossible for one human mind to thoroughly under- 
stand another human mind just because there may be but the slightest variation 
in the molecular or cellular structure of their brains, h w can we expect to under- 
stand the nature of oxygen-mind, or hydrogen-mind, or a molecule's mind or an 
atom's mind ? But because we cannot understand them is no reason why we 
should deny them a certain commensurate degree of sensation, will and judg- 
ment, all of which are manifest in their lowest forms in attraction and repulsion, 
and in their highest developed forms in the love and hate of plants and animals. 

Wherever purpose of any kind is revea'ed there must, necessarily, be some 
form of mind operative, since we cannot dissociate purpose from intelligence- 
one implying the other. Oxygen gas operates to a purpose, it effects (and 
affects) certain unions, it affiiiates with other gases, thus forming combinations 
quite useful to all organic life, and in this purpose its own inherent mind-element 
becomes manifest to us. It operates, therefore, in the same purposive sense that 
a chtmist forms certain other coalitions of elements, but the oxygen-mind being 
limited in its entire capacities to its own affiliations, we can comprehend the 
enormous difference that obtains between this extreme low form i^f inorganic 
mind and even that of the lowest forms of organic intelligences, tho e of the 
micro-organisms, who, as Mons Alfred Binet, the eminent French biologist, 
asserted, " manifest in their activities the majority of the emotions characteristic 
of the highest orders of life." 

In these psychic activities of the lowest orders of organic life, and, inferentially, 
as stated, of inorganic matter or force, may the true final causes of all natural 
phenomena be found, for which reason the term " teleo-mechanics of Nature " 
would not be an inappropriate appellation for the fi rces operating in the universe. 
Professor Haeckel admitting on page 263 that " the principle of ' teleological 
mechanism ' has become more and more accepted of late years and has furnished 
a mechanical explanation even of the finest and most recondite processes of 
organic life." Would only substitute for •' mechanical" the term "teleological," 
which implies "a purposive, hence intelligent, creative force, or forces," (see 
page 260) since the admission of a psychic element in the mechanicisms of 
matter (i.e., their atomic and molecular processes) furnishes a teleological expla- 
nation of all natural phenomena— the former mechanical ones having been 
found inadequate to their interpretation. 

Thus we may see in Nature two distinct classes of teleo-mechanics at work — 
one which operates in inorganic bodies of matter and force (but enter also in the 
up-building of organic structures), and the other which dominates exclusively in 
the organic domain, building up each animal or vegetal structure in accordance 
with certain psychic impressions received from their genitors. This latter more 
or less developed class is identical with what is generally known as the sub- 
consciousness, that is to say : this our diffused meniality consists of the sum-total 
of the psychic energy of the teleo-mechanics operating within our bodies. And 
to what are these (said mechanics) reducible? Simply to what Prof. Haeckel has 
alluded to in various parts of his works as the cell '* souls " of each plant and 
animal. That these cells, or theiY souls, rather, operate intelligently, because 



26 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



purposively, any one can satisfy himself of by studying their movements under 
a microscope strong enough to reveal them, as we have shown from the quota- 
tions from Prof. Huxley's and Mons. Binet's works. What we call the " life" of 
a plant or an animal is simply these teleo-mechanics or cell-souls in actual ope- 
ration, and is identical with what I have formerly called the " subconscious 
mind," but which for the vagueness or indefiniteness of the term I have changed 
to the more specific name of the biologic mind. 

In the purposive physiological processes of all animate beings the intelligence 
of the cell-souls is revealed just as is that of an artizan who " with skilled mani- 
pulations performs his work." What further proof or evidence of his intelligence 
is needed than what we see him perform ? To question a skilled artist's intelli- 
gence after having evidence of his work would be taken as a sign of dementia. 
Why would not this rule be as applicable in questioning the teleo-mechanics of 
the organic kingdom ? Hermann Wettstein. 

Fitzgerald, Ga., U. S. A., Nov. lo, 1904. 



MISCELLANEOUS. 



THE ONTARIO ELECTIONS. 
We are within the mark, we think, in saying that nobody was more surprised 
than the leaders of the Liberal party itself at the result of the elections for the 
Dominion Parliament, which gives Sir Wilfrid Laurier and his friends a secure 
hold on the strings of the public purse for another term ; and after such an ex- 
perience, nobody should be surprised if the Ross Government carried ihe Ontario 
elections in similar style. People have short memories, and when the Liberal 
leader, admitting that there had been much crooked work among the Liberals in 
the past, advised his friends to ignore it, to bury it, to forget it entirely, and to 
start afresh with a clean sheet, determined to maintain the old character of the 
Liberal party for purity, etc., he struck a note that possibly they will endeavor 
to live up to— at least as far as the forgetting is concerned " But," he con- 
tinued, " we must not forget the misdeeds of our opponents." Just so, and his 
opponents are not likely to forget his misdeeds either. So that, whichever side 
wins the election, we may rest assured that the " debates " of the next session 
wid not rise above the level of a parish squabble over the appointment of a clerk 
or a pound-keeper. 



THE TORONTO EDUCATION BOARD. 

The results of the Toronto municipal elections were on the whole favorable 
to decent government, but. the Education Board part of it was decidedly disap- 
pointing. The list of candidates was a remarkably poor one, and it was not to 
be wondered at that the first meeting of the new Board showed log-rolling and 
wire-pulling to be in full force. The chairman, Mr. Brown, was elected by a 
majority of one over the late chairman, Mr. Parkinson, the majority including 
the two Separate School representatives (whose votes were objected to as illegal 
in tbis case) and Miss Martin (who voted for Brown in return fur a promise 'of 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 27 



the chairmanship of the Management Committee, to which she suhsequently was 
elected). This was a bad beginning for the new Board, but after the experience 
of last year's Board, we should not expect too much. 

Miss Martin gives us the one gleam of hope that some me nbers of the Board 
of Education will make an effort to improve the system of education carried on 
in the Toronto schools. She jjroposes that for the first three *" books," including 
children up to about nine or ten years of age, the school course should be con- 
fined almost eniirely to reading, writing, and arithmetic, to the exclusion of the 
recently introduced " nature study," geography, etc. We have before now advo- 
cated a simplification of the pub ic school curriculum, but such a drastic measure 
as that now suggested we think would be an unpardonable mistake. 

It is unquestionably true that the present instruction in our public schools is 
very defective, many of the teachers being but poorly equipped for their work. 
Much of the schor)l work consists of lenrning by rote lessons that are altogether 
misunderstood. Instead of this, what is wanted is that, while "the three r's " 
should be carefully and intelligently taught — and a sympathetic teacher could 
make all of them interesting to pupils -geography, hygiene, and nature study of 
a simple character should form an integral part of the school course of all the 
grades. We have questioned many youths who have passed through the public 
schools, having left school at the age of fourteen to sixteen years, and have in 
all cases found them possessed of but the faintest ideas upon the subjects we 
have mentioned. We laugh at the Chinese maps, in which China itself occupies 
nearly all the space, the other countries being mere specks surrounding it ; yet, 
though our maps may be better, the general effect of our school training is very 
much the same, and pupils leave school with the same false notions of their 
own country. Their own bodies, the society they live in, the world and the uni 
verse of which they form a part, are all subjects upon which every pupil should 
receive definite instruction, and a good teacher should know bow to impart it 
and to make it interesting. 

We sincerely hope the new Education Board will thresh out this subject, and 
do their best to inaugurate a more intelligent system of school teaching. 



AUSTRALIA HARD UP. 

It is an unpleasant sign of tie times that the British Secretary of State for the 
Colonies is dunning the Australian Commonwealth for the ^^25,000 it promised 
as a subscription towards the Queen Victoria Memorial. The Commonwealth 
must be in straightened circumstances indeed when it finds the payment of such 
a small debt at all difficult. There must be something wrong with its manage- 
ment, one would think. Is it a bigger Paradise for Boodlers than Canada or 
Yankee Land ? 



IN MEMORY OF HUGH PRICE HUGHES. 
A week or two ago a memorial window to the memory of the late Methodist 
chief bummer, Hugh Price Hughes, was unveiled in the Wesley Chapel, City 
Road, London. Of co rse, if the Methodists choose to honor the memory of a 
man like Hugh Price Hnghis, we can't kick. But why they should make the 
memorial take the shape of *' a life-sized figure ef Jesu.s, copied from Leonardo 
da Vinci's ' Last Supper,' " seems to us an inscrutable mystery. What had Mr. 
Hughes to do with Jesus? Hughes certainly was not one of Mr. Morley's four 
absolutely truthful men ; nor had jje the honor to acknowledge his error when 



28 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



it was proved conclusively that he had retailed a false story about a ** converted 
atheist shoemaker." He was simply a commonplace Christian preacher, for whom 
a lie was better than the truth if it appeared to spell profit to his church. 



GOOD FOR LOS ANGELES. 

Sunday night, October 9th, T. W. Williams lectured at the Liberal Club on 
the subject of the Bible in the schools. In the five-minutt criticisms following, 
the County Superintendent said that he would favor keeping a copy of the Bible 
in the library for reference, but that he would not want a Jew or Catholic teacher 
to give and teach their ideas of it to his child, and that it should not be forced 
i«to the public schools. Then the preachers and school marms sneaked home. 
— Higher Science^ Los A ngeles, Cal. 



BIBLE SELLING IN TURKEY. 
Although the Turkish Government has removed the restriction imposed upon 
the sale of Bibles, some of the colporteurs of the Bible Society have been ar- 
rested and fined at Trebizond, and their Bibles confiscated The Porte sent a 
note to the Powers formulating its objections to the selling of Bibles in Turkey; 
and one would think, if the Bible Society were actuated by any just regard for 
rights of the Turks in their own country, they would refrain from this persistent 
disregard of the laws of a friendly nation. It is now reported that, through the 
intervention of the American Legation, the confiscated books have been restored. 



BRICKLAYERS AGIN CEMENT. 
At the Provincial Conference of the International Bricklayers' Union, held in 
Toronto on Dec. 6th, the President advised that a resolution be passed condemn- 
ing the use of cement instead of stone and brick for house foundations, on the 
ground that the use of cement would deprive bricklayers and stonemasons of a 
job. This is one of those items that show what false notions of right and wrong 
obtain among the trade unionists, and what little good we may expect from such 
organizations until better notions prevail. Although it has been shown that the 
houses built of cement are better and cheaper than those built of brick, this 
Brotherhood of Bricklayers would prevent a man building a house for himself if 
he could not pay the top price for bricks and the highest wages for bricklayers. 
This is not tyranny. It is only working man's justice. 



THE CHURCH AND THE SUNDAY SCHOOL. 
A Sunday School Convention was held in St. Paul's Church, Montreal, about 
the middle of December, and one or two items in the proceedings struck us as 
containing some food for thought. The field secretary stated that there was one 
congregation wherj 95 per cent were connj.:ted with the Sunday school, iS^ 
per cent, was the average for Amsrici, and 26 per cent, in Montreal. From this 
it would siem that a large portion of the congregations take very little interest 
at all in the Sunday-school. Perhaps this accounts for— or perhaps is accounted 
for by— another statement, made by Rev. Mackenzie, when s[)eaking in favor of 
specially training teachers for Sunday-school work. We agree with Mr. Macken- 
zie that, if there must be teachers of Sunday-schools, they should be properly 
equipped for their work ; but whether such a training would give the teacher a 
"higher estimate of the peculiar quality and sacrediusa q{ his office," we are 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 29 



inclined to doubt. And we agree that, " to teach successfully, one must possei-s- 
a kno.vljdge of the subject matter to be taught." This seems to need no reve- 
lation ; i)vr, in view of it, the conclusion we arrive at is that the present staff of 
Sunday-school teachers is deficient in a knowledge of what tht y pretend to teach. 
Which is very likely to be tr.ie. and, if so, will account for a good deal that is 
noticeable in Sunday-school affairs. If the teachers are ignorant hypocrites — ihe 
meaning we attach to Rev. Mackenzie's words — thtre need be no surprise that 
so many of them turn out to be frauds when ihey get out into the business world. 



AN INTERVIEW WITH "J H V H." 
We'have received a copy of a 24-page pamphlet by Mr. D. K. Tcnney, con^^ 
taining an account of his ascent to heaven and his interview with its proprietor. 
There is no price marked on it, but copies can doubtless be obtained by address- 
ing Mr. Tenney at Madison, Wis. Mr. Tenney traverses the Biblical story of 
the divine dealings with the Jews and some other people, and his interview will 
he found to contain much laughter and tnought-provoking matter. On page 22, 
HVHJ remarks, in answer to the interviewer's solacing suggestion (in regard to 
the coney, which the Bible tells us " cheweth the cud, but divideth not the huol "), 
that " No one could expect you to carry always in mind the exact character of 
the feet and stomachs of all the animals you created. Nobody but a naturalist 
could do that " : " Young man, you do not comprehend the true nature of the 
offence. Listen to me. One of the first principles of cosmic philosophy is that 
things may be theologically true, yet actually false. The action of the Presbytery 
strikes at the very root of this principle. It is the very marrow in the backbone 
of all theology. People who only believe what they know to be true, and which, 
therefore, they are obliged to believe, confer no favor on me, for no favor is in- 
volved. It is only those who believe, for my sake, what they know to be false, 
who commend themselves to my grace. This is theology pure and simple. If 
you will but reflect a moment, you will perceive that all things required in my 
written word to be believed by men, as conditions of their salvation, are matters 
which they either know or suspect to be false. True faith alone can achieve this- 
exalted credulity, and thus make me happy. What jjy can there be i.i heaven 
over faith which only confides in what it perceives to be true ? That is altogether 
too easy." 



From Huntingdon, W.Va., we hear of a row which occurred among some of 
the congregation who had just left a little church near Mill Creek, on Big Sandy 
River, in which one man was killed outright and two others fatally wounded. 
The row was about politics, and it is clear that the influence of religion in this 
case did not last ten seconds after the benediction. 

At Opelonsas, I^ , Mrs. Donald Guillory, an old lady aged 100 years, was 
burnt to death at the altar in the Catholic church, Oct. 24lh. As she stood up 
after praying and turned to leave, her dress caught fire from the lighted candles, 
arfd she was so badly burned that she died in a few minutes. Possibly she had 
neglected to pray for protection against fire. 

The Bishop of Peterborough (England), we are told, has authorized a form of 
prayer to be used in his diocese asking God for the termination of the Russo- 
Japanese war. The bishop and his clergy might have sent their petition direct 
to the Emperors of Japan and Russia. If they thought this plan would not be 
successful, how can they expect better results from a second-hand message ? 



w 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 



ONLY ONE WAY. 
However the battle is ended, 

Though proudly the victor comes, 
With fluttering flags and prancing nags 

And echoing roll of drums, 
Still truth proclaims this motto 

In letters of living light : 
No question is ever settled 

Until it is settled right. 

Though the heel of the strong op- 
pressor 

May grind the weak in the dus^, 
And the voices of fame with one acclaim 

May call him great and just, 
Let those who applaud take warning 

And keep this motto in sight : 
No question is ever settled 

Until it is settled right. 

Let those who have failed take courage. 

Though the enemy seemed to have 
won, 
Though his ranks are strong, if in the 
wrong, 

The battle is not yet done ; 
For sure as the morning follows 

The darkest hour of the night, 
No question is ever settled 

Until it is settled right, 
— y. Frantz in Albany Sunday Sun. 



Here is a barber's card from a town 
in Iowa : 



If you want your Soup-strainers 
Pruned, we will block them 
out in any pattern : — Lip 
Ticklers, Fantails, Billy- 
goats, or Preacherinos. 



Hair Cuts of all kinds, from 

Woolly Willies to Ring- 

Around-Roseys. 



Jager's Whiskerarium, 
Telephone Building - - Eddyville. 



In the public schools of Japan, the 
English language is required to be 
taught by law. 



A DISRAELIISM. 

One of the smartist things ever said 
by Disraeli was uttered at the moment 
of his entry into public life at High 
Wycombe. At the election, Disraeli's 
opponent, a county man of influence, 
proclaimed that he was *' standing for 
the seat upon the Constitution of the 
country, upon the broad acres of his 
fathers, upon law, property and order." 

" And what does Mr Disraeli stand 
upon ? " cried a farmer in the crowd. 

Disraeli sprang to his feet instanter, 
" I stand," said he, " upon my head ! " 



Mrs. de Vere Neat — It seems to me 
that, for a man who claims to deserve 
charity, you have a very red nose." 

Muddy Mike — Yes, mum ; the cheap 
soaps that us poor people uses, mum. is 
very hard on the complexion, mum." 



The old man paused at the parlor 
door on his way upstairs, and said : 

" Don't forget, young man, that the 
lights in this house are all put out at lo 
o'clock." 

" Thanks," rejoined the young man 
who was helping the fair maid to hold 
the sofa down, " but— er — couldn't you 
make an exception to-night and put 'em 
out an hour earlier ? " 



SECRETS. 

The secrets you whiswer to Stella 

Will travel a wide-spreading ground ; 
The confidence given to Smithers 

Will shortly be bruited around. 
So Corn on the Cob we are hailing, 

Give praise from the North to the 
South !— 
The only safe ear in existence 

To which you can open your mouth. 



Student— What do you regard as the 
chief end of man, professor ? 

Professor — Well, it depends upon 
what you want the man for. If you 
want him to do brain work, it's his 
head ; but if you want him to run 
errands, it's his feet. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 



31 



PRAYER. 

Pray if you can, but prayer never can 

Produce one useful thought in mind of 
man. 

Kneel to the great unknown, but learn 
to know 

Th.it man is never raised by bending 
low. 

Ask God to give, but learn that useful 
hands 

Are ever valued more than God's com- 
mands. 

That one poor cot on earth is valued 
high 

Above the greatest mansion in the sky. 

Sing ! sing, ye host ! your God per- 
chance may hear. 

Your long sought Christ on earth may 
yet appear ; 

Your God may speak ; Christ conde- 
scend to give 

To ignorance the pow'r to think and live. 

Faith in a dream produces nothing 
good, 

Religions die when they are understood. 

As nations rise and fall, creeds come 
and go — 

Each church is but a monument of woe. 

The fear of God will damn the truest 
heart 

Which bends to think and play the 
manly part ; 

But love of truth will raise the living 
head 

Above the creeds and fai'ures of the 
dead. 
— Sylvanus in Agnostic jfournal. 



At the close of the service one Sun- 
day morning the pastor of a city church 
went down the aisle, as was his custom, 
to greet strangers in the congregation. 

*'You are not a member of our 
church," he remarked to one. 

" No, sir," replied the stranger. 

*' Do you belong to any denomina- 
tion, may I ask ? " 

•• Well," was the hesitating reply, '• I 
might perhaps be called a submerged 
Presbyterian." ^ 



" How's that ? " 

•' Why, I was brought up a Presby- 
terian, my wife is a Methodist, my 
eldest daughter is a Baptist, my son is 
organist at a Unive salist church, my 
second daughter sings in an Episcopal 
choir, and my youngest goes to a Con- 
gregational Sunday-school." 

" But you contribute, doubtless, to 
some one church." 

"Yes, I contribute to all of them. 
That is partly why I am submerged." — 
Youth^s Companion. 



A "CHIC " RETORT. 

Mr. Choate, the American ambassa- 
dor to England, is quick at repartee. 
He was at a country house during a 
" week-end, " when at breakfast one 
morning his neighbor, a pretty Ameri- 
can, came to grief in trying to manipu- 
late her egg English fashion. With a 
face full of dismay she turned to him : 

" Oh, Mr. Choate, I've dropped an 
egg. What shall I do ? " 

" Cackle, madam, cackle ! " was the 
quick retort. 



Curate (at the end of a successful 
Jumble Sale) — Ladies, in the name of 
Almighty God, I thank you for the 
many articles of value which you have 
devoted to the service of the church in 
this sale ; and I would ask you not to 
forget that all ladies and gentlemen 
who have left off wearing apparel are 
earnestly requested to give it to the 
poor ! " (Ladies blush^ gentlemen 
snicker ^ curate collapses.) 

A well-known preacher at a dinner 
propounded this conundrum : *' Why 
was Noah the greatest financier of his 
time ? " There being no reply, he gave 
this answer : *' Noah was able to float 
a stock company at a time when all his 
contemporaries were forced into invo- 
luntary liquidation." 



Paganism — Christianity before Christ. 
Christianity — Paganism after Christ. 



S2 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 



LITTLE JOHNNY WRITES 
ABOUT THE HOG. 

Missus Dyppy, which has got the 
red hed, she had a pet pig wich wuld 
come in the house and eat evry thing 
wich it cud lay its hans on, and one 
time she come in har own self jest in 
time to see the pci pig swoller a marble 
wich her little Sammy roled tord it on 
the flore. So she sed, Missus Doppy 
did, Why, Sammy, now you have lost 
yure marble! But Sammy he sed it 
dident matter much, cos it was the only 
one wich was left and he culdent play 
a game with only but jest one. 

Then she ast what had become of 
the others, cos he had more than a 
hunderd. Sammy he sed he gest mebby 
thay had flew up the chimny, but the 
pig it wank its i, much as to say Sammy 
was a good one But prety soon the 
pig it was took bad in the stummuck 
and died in a minite, for it had et all 
the marbles wich Samm>y had. 

One time wen Uncle Ned was a news- 
paper man the editor tole him for to 
write a stunner on the Amercan hog, 
wich was a live ishue and a burnin 
question. So Uncle Ned he opened 
his desk and put out his pen and his 
paper and his tung, and made his legs 
curly, and rwote as follows, wich he 
remembers like it was yestday : 

The Amercan hog, wich is begining 
for to absorp the ateushion of the sci- 
entificle, is a quoderped, but fish is eels, 
and the giraft roars like distent thunder. 
The Amercan hog is distinguisht from 
the yuman race by its grunt, wich makes 
it woller in the mud like it cudent get 
up, but thay can wen thare is anything 
in it. 

The hop tode is worty and sheeps 
has wool, and the pecox it has got eys 
in its tail, and the rhi nosey rose it 
carrys a sticker on its nose, but the 
Hog of our Union he roots with hissen 
and nashes his teeths offle ! He has 
got a button on his snowt, but no 
buttonhole for to put it in, and a note 



of intergatoin for a tail, wich proofs 
that altho he was created up rite his 
purpus is involved in dout. 

The he one is a buck, but the lady 
hog is pork, and wen the whicked 
devvles is drove out of yumans thay go 
into hogs and the hogs run down a hil 
into the lake wich burneth with fier and 
broomstone and the devvles is all 
drownded. 

It is wicked for to take soop twice, 
but the Amercan hog he put his fore 
feets in the trof and rises up his voice 
for to ask for more, cos he is the king 
of beests and the levver wich moves the 
werld ! 

Wen the editor see wot Uncle Ned 
had rwote he sed he wudent put it in 
the paper and I think so too, as I have 
never did see sech rot in my life and 
Bildad never did in hisen, but the lo 
commandments say thow shall not eat 
pork, for it biteth like a adder. 

But a pigs tail nice roasted is the 
sum of yuman hapness. — Ambrose 
Bierce in the American. 



The Pall Mall Gazette says the 
Scots are clean golfers and clean curlers, 
but as religious disputants they stand 
easily first among the peoples of the 
earth. 

It is calculated that Spain spends 
$500,000 on candles and incense for 
churches. But there were four hundred 
Freethinkers from one Spanish city, 
Barcelono, at the great Roman Con- 
gress. 

Under the weight of a crowd of wor- 
shippers, the floor of a new Catholic 
church at Adams, Mass., collapsed and 
nearly 150 people fell into the cellar. 
It seems a pity the Almighty did not 
inspire the architect of his own house 
with enough knowledge to build the 
church securely ; though, as one bishop 
and several priests were among those 
who •' fell from grace" on this oecasion, 
it miy be that the arch-enemy had 
something to do with the job. 



SECULAK THOUGHT 

A Fortnightly Journal of Rational Criticism in 
Politics, Science, and Religion. 



J. S. ELLIS, Editor. 


NEW SERIES. 


C. n. ELLIS, Bu5. Mjrr. 


Vol. XXXI. No. 2. 


TORONTO, JAN. 28, 1905. 


loc; $2 per ann. 



3mmoraliti2 of •ReUoion* 

:o: 

Religion is merely loyalty. When a Christian sins as a man, 
he makes compensation as a courtier. When he has injured 
a fellow creature he goes to church with more regularity, and 
believes that he has cleared off the sins that are laid to his 
account. This, then, is the immorality of religion as it now 
exists. It creates artificial virtues, and sets them off against 
actual vices. — Winwood Reade. 

EDITORIALS. 

THE ONTARIO ELECTIONS. 
The result of the Ontario elections appears to have been a complete sur- 
prise to both of the political parties. The Rossites, while talking some- 
what apolop;etically, had made preparations for a *' great fight" — which, 
interpreted in the words of some of their opponents, means that money 
was by no means stinted — but were not unprepared for defeat ; and the 
Whitneyites, though confident of victory, only reckoned upon securing 
a moderate working majority. The announcement, therefore, that the 
Conservatives hud secured 70 seats out of 98, giving them a majority of 
42, came to them almost as startlingly as to their opponents. The talk 
of a possible Coalition Government naturally ceased as soon as the elec- 
tion returns showed a decided majority. 

The Conservative party will now have an opiX)rtunity of putting theh- 
pledges in favor of honest government to the test of practice ; though 
it is more than likely, when they have settled down to work, that, like 
the victorious Liberals at Ottawa, they will find j)lausible excuses for 
outdoing the extravagance of their predecessors. Still, let us hope that 



34 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

tlieir thirty-two years of exclusion from the sweets of office may have 
chastened their spirits, and taken the edge off their appetite for power 
and pelf. 

Goldwin Smith thinks the overwhelming defeat of the Liberals carries 
with it a strong declaration of the Ontario people in favor of honest 
government. There are, of -course, some citizens — possibly a majority 
of them — who are in favor of honest government, but there has been 
no recent eviden-ce forthcoming to show that there has been any prick- 
ing of the public conscience in this matter. Bribery and corruption 
have been the staple cries of both parties of Canadian politicians ever 
since Confederation. It seems likely that the "outs," — the Conserva- 
tives — who are actually in a numerical majority, and have nearly car- 
ried the last two elections, have so perfected their machine, that the 
defection of a number of Prohibition voters, disgusted with the vacilla- 
tion and deception of the Ross Government on the Prohibition question, 
and of a few voters disgusted with the many recent election scandals, 
has been sufficient to give a majority in many constituencies. 

It would certainly be a pk'asing thought that the Ontario citizens had 
condemned in the most emphatic manner a government the members of 
which can only defend themselves from the charge of gross corruption 
and bribery by an admission of incapacity and neglect of plain duty. 
But both sides have managed the election by means of *' machines " 
that are a menace to decent government. During the thirty-two years 
of "Liberal " government in Ontario, berths have been filled time and 
again by all sorts of party hangers-on, without any consideration as to 
their qualifications for the duties undertaken, and new berths have been 
created for many more, until nepotism and bureaucracy has undermined 
any chance of honest government and has become a powerful element 
in debauching the people. Only a couple of weeks ago a man who was 
vice-president of one of the party societies was rewarded for his partisan 
work by being appointed a license inspector at $1,500 per annum. Other 
members of the same society had previously been similarly rewarded. 

Naturally enough, the supporters of the new Conservative Government 
will look for their reward in the same fashion, and unless the Ministers 
are abnormally honest and firm, they will get it. The doctrine that " to 
the victors belong the spoils " has taken such a firm hold of the minds 
of both politicians and people, that we doubt if the Conservative leaders 
could resist their demands, even if inclined to do so. 

Nor do we look for reforms or decent government to come from the 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 85 



initiative of the party leaders. In our view, reforms can only result 
from an increased sense of responsibility in the mass of the people. 
While the people continue to maintain party associations, the object of 
which is to keep the party in power and to secure berths for the active 
members, we can only regard those who join such associations as deli- 
berate supporters of the " machine " and active participants in corrupt 
methods. For the purpose of keeping their party in power, and for their 
own and their friends' pecuniary advantage, they voluntarily forego tneir 
rights and duties and privileges as free-born citizens of a democratic 
country, and stamp themselves as the tools and minions of a system 
that must inevitably destroy clean and honest government. 

SOME COMMON CLERICAL FALLACIES. 

It has been often observed, that when a preacher begins to preach he 
generally manages to say something. With equal truth it may be ob- 
served, that when a preacher does say something, he more frequently 
says something foolish than something sensible. This, indeed, is what 
might be naturally expected on a priori grounds; for it is certain that 
the whole training of the preaching fraternity is of a nature to unfit 
them for taking a sensible view of mundane affairs or for dealing witli 
them in a rational or logical fashion. Everything is judged from the 
i^tandpoint of the doctrines of the church, and is condemned or approved 
according to its supposed agreement with or opposition to the alleged 
commands of a *' god " — in other words, the standards of the church. 

A striking instance of this was seen at a celebration of the diamond 
jubilee of the St. Louis University, when the sermon was preached by 
Archbishop Glennon. Mr. Glennon took the opportunity to denounce a 
proposed constitutional amendment authorizing the issue of free text- 
books to pupils in the public schools, and especially what he said was a 
** popular belief that education is a solution of all the ills that flesh is 
heir to," and went on : 

** Why is it necessary to have school text-books free ? If the books were so 
distributed, equity demands liiat the distribution should be as wide as the scope 
of the soil, but by the amendment it is limited lo children wlio go only to cerlain 
schools. I cite this proposed law as a step towards socialism, because if it is 
adopted the ordinance in time will be also for the adoption of free clothes and 
free food for all the children. 

" This, I hold, is not becoming^nor esstnli:il in llie dcvclop-nent of a tree and 



36 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

independent people. It might suit the penitentiary, but where years have been 
spent and the best thought given to the development of healthy mdividualism, 
such a law would be hurtful to the country's best interests. It, furthermore, 
would react on those people who inaugurate it, for that which is received for 
nothing is generally regarded as worth nothing. As in life, emulation, anbition, 
incentive are necessary, so also in education these things are essential. Conse- 
quently, I believe and say without hesitation that this amendment ought not to 
be carried. And I cite it as an evidence of the extravagant notion that some 
have of the helpfulness of education." 

For an Archbishop, Mr. Glennon's logic is of a peculiarly weak cha- 
racter. Because free text-books are to be provided suited to the course 
of studies pursued in the public schools that are open to all, therefore 
they should also be given to schools where an opposing system is carried 
on, and even to children not attending school at all. 

It is manifestly wrong to class sectarian schools as on a par with the 
public schools, and entitled to the same advantages. It is evident that 
they must rather be regarded as an opposing institution, and one which 
voluntarily puts itself beyond the pale of public institutions and forfeits 
their advantages in order to be allowed to teach its special creeds and 
dogmas by its own often incompetent agents. 

Then Mr. Glennon decides that free text-books are *' a step towards 
Socialism," and, if adopted, must lead to " free clothes and free food for 
all the children." Apart from any consideration as to whether such an 
outcome might not be far better than the present system, it is clear that 
the rev. gentleman's assumption is a totally gratuitous one, and would 
be equally valid against a change in any direction. A demand to reduce 
excessive railway fares or city taxes — heavy for the poor if not for the 
rich — would by the same logic be interpreted as involving an ultimate 
demand for free railway travel and the abolition of all taxes. 

As to the tendency '* towards Socialism," the same argument might 
be used in regard to every step in the improvement of the machinery of 
social life ; but certainly there is no evidence to prove that the men wlio 
desire the children to be educated in the most efficient manner would 
sanction the supply to them of free clothing. Rather the reverse. Their 
object, indeed, is to make the children into independent citizens. But, 
even if it did lead to such a result, does Mr. Glennon think it would be 
better to allow the children to starve or freeze to death, or to become 
physically degenerate, rather than to help them with the necessaries for 
physical health ? 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 37 

THE DEMORALIZING EFjbECT OF " CHARITY." 

The question of the moral effect of " charity " is a very debatable 
one. Some people, like Archbishop Glennon, profess to think that, even 
in the shape of a good education, any assistance given to the young will 
have a demoralizing tendency, and a similar result is predicted of giving 
material assistance. The point appears to be commonly overlooked that 
in the social organism, while it is impossible that all should be rich, and 
while neither rich nor poor can be said to owe their condition entirely to 
their own efforts or failures, to save the masses from either ignorance or 
starvation is not a question of charity, so much as a matter of impera- 
tive duty, which the well-to-do classes owe, not only to the State, but to 
(what should be) their own sense of honesty and patriotism. 

The church appears anxious to keep control of all agencies which can 
be classed as " charity " in its own hands, for she knows that, as charity 
is administered by her agents, it is a great power in favor of the church ; 
but it may be reasonably contended that, in all the shapes it has been 
proposed to give it in connection with education, the advantage resulting 
to the State would far outweigh any imaginable disadvantages, for the 
common idea of charity would be eliminated. 

If some parents are unable to provide for their children properly, ac- 
cording to the standard demanded by the public authorities, the assist- 
ance given to such children in order to fit them for their life-struggle 
should be looked upon as conferring a benefit on the State as well as on 
the individuals, and need entail no feeling of degradation on the latter. 

Let us ask, when the promoters of a new industry, struggling for 
existence, find themselves compelled to ask for a public bonus or exemp- 
tion from taxation, or both, with other privileges, in order to keep their 
business from bankruptcy, is there a howl from preachers or aristocrats 
against the degrading influences of such charitable assistance ? Not a 
bit of it. And why? Because, while these things are done in order to 
help the businesses favored as well as society at large, the preachers 
know that they increase the value of tluiir " j/raft." 

EDUCATION THE SOLE REMEDY FOR SOCIAL ILLS. 
In the educational matter^ the secret of their opposition lies in the 
manifest fact that, while public education tends towards socialistic im- 
provements and individual independence, it rather tends towards upset- 
ting the ** graft" of the churckvand the politicians. 



38 SECULAK THOUGHT. 



The Archbishop repeats the worn-out taunt against the " popular 
belief that education is a solution of all ills." Taking him at his own 
valuation, his taunt tells equally against the church as against the public 
schools. The difference is, that the church's teachings, being according 
to him the true ones, are the sole solution ; whereas the education given 
in the public schools is mostly false and consequently injurious. That is 
to say, education is good^f you only go to the Catholic Church for it. 

For ourselves, as we have often contended, education is manifestly the 
only means that exists for securing any measure of social improvement. 
If men have to learn by exparience, the experience must come to them 
through some medium, and that experience will be the basis of their 
education. It needs no prophet to tell that, if each man depended upon 
his own direct experience, he could make little if any advance ; and it 
is equally certain that, while the ordinary secular education is very de- 
fective, and produces but a tithe of the good it should produce, the edu- 
cation provided by the church produces little good and a vast amount of 
harm. 

It may be admitted that much of the common school education is 
both ill adapted for its purpose and taught in a perfunctory manner ; 
but it must be remembered that the whole system is yet in its infancy, 
though it has dune more in the past half century than had been accom- 
plished by the church in the preceding nineteen centuries. The training 
given in the separate and sectarian schools, however, is largely both 
useless and brain-distorting, and is carried on in a routine and stereo- 
typed fashion that would ruin the value of the best instruction that could 
be given. Of what earthly value is it to children that they should learn 
by heart the mythical history of Moses, the stories of Jesus and his 
miracles, the Apostles' Creed, or the Church Catechism ? 

But one thing is .manifest, and that is — that, when left to the church, 
education has been grossly neglected, and for the masses almost entirely 
abandoned. And whether for its priests or for the laity, it has been so 
overladen with sacerdotal gibberish and superstition as to be useful for 
nothing but to confirm the power of the church. 

PROTESTANT CHRISTIAN CHURCH UNION. 
The spectacle of a great church with one omnipotent god and one 
infallible revelation, but with hundreds of disputing sects, is one that 
must cause some of its members a deep sense of humiliation when they 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 39 

begin to reflect upon it, as they surely must do sometimes. Evidently 
there must be something wrong either with the revelation or with the 
minds of its interpreters. And it is not to be wondered at that, every 
now and again, a wave of enthusiasm should spread over the Protestant 
world in favor of putting an end to such a ridiculous exhibition. 

As might be expected, however, little substantial progress is ever moide. 
Personal compliments are passed, committees are appointed — and then 
more pressing matters are attended to until the next union wave is felt. 
A good instance has just occurred. A meeting was held in Toronto by 
a large number of delegates from the leading denominations to discuss 
the question of organic union, and after the most friendly sentiments 
had been expressed, special committees were appointed to consider the 
matter in its varied devotional, disciplinary, and, financial aspects, many 
of the delegates aflfirming both the possibility and the probability of the 
union being accomplished in the near future. 

To one who has not heard much of the subject daring the last half- 
century, it might seem that a new spirit of Christian love had seized the 
clerical fraternity, and that the day of Protestant unity had dawned at 
last. We can afiford to possess ourselves in patience, however. Yahve 
took a six-day week to tire himself out in manufacturing '* the heavens 
and the earth, and all that in them is," (including, we suppose, " Our 
father which art in heaven" — himself), though his " say so " was all that 
was needed ; and we can easily understand that the Langtrys and the 
Sheratons, the Sparlings and the Frizzels, the Blacks and the Gilroys, 
powerful as they may be in their small way, cannot be expected to rival 
Yahve, or even Jove, in the lightning artist business. 

Of course, in making the universe, though the actual scraping of the 
mud together to form land, putting in a big dam(n) — or firmament — to 
keep the water from flooding the dry land, and other mechanical work, 
may have only taken six short days, it is impossible to say how long it 
took to make the Design. There must have been a Design, else how 
could there have been a Designer ? It may have taken millions of eons. 
Who knows ? 

And so the Protestant Christian Church Unionists — like the British 
Empire Unionists — may find their greatest difficulty in elaborating their 
Design. Will the new Church Unionists be all bishops, and strike for a 
palace and $50,000 a year salary, or all curates, and be satisfied with a 
salary of $500 a year? Will they believe in the Athanasian Creed, in 
the Westminster Confession, orin no creed at all ? Will they abolish 



40 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

heaven and hell, or still continue to blow hot and cold on the subject, as 
well as on others, according to the strength of the salary call ? 

Then, in making the universe, Yahve does not seem to have had any 
opposition — there were apparently no vested interests to be bought out 
and provided for. The Devil, we presume, had not }et been created or 
disgraced. Universal mind had not yet been developed, and had nothing 
to say for itself. Like an infant, all it had to do was to obey, just like 
the clods of mud — in fact, simply to be blown into a clod of mud to turn 
it into a living soul. But in the union of the Protestant sects there are 
some peculiar features, both of doctrine and of practice, that may be 
more difficult to overcome and harmonize than any Yahve had to deal 
with in creation. 

" BACK TO THE BIBLE ! "-AND START AFRESH. 

At Winnipeg, on December 29th, Principal Sparling, just home from 
the Toronto conference, spoke in this strain of its proceedings : 

" The question was discussed from the standpoints of doctrine, policy, and 
training of the ministiy. With regard to doctrine, the question was, 'Could the 
dJfferc nces of doctrine be harmonized ? ' Dr. Carman expressed himself em- 
phaiically that there must be a basis of belief. There can be no creedless 
church. He did not want to live in any church without creed or without govern- 
ment any more than he did in a country without laws or government. 

" Dr Potts then came forward in his own emphatic style, and, with voice vibrat- 
ing with emotion, confessed that he had approached the subject from the point 
of difficulty. Doctrine was the hard point. He could not see how Calvinism 
at u Arminianism could be reconciled. He wished to preach a doctrine free 
and generous as the sunlight, but if these two creeds could not be harmonized, 
then there could be no union. 

*' Dr. Duval then gave an excellent address. He was glad to hear Dr. Potts 
say what he had said. This was the place for frankness, where face to face they 
should state their difficulties freely. He, too, could not harmonize Calvinism 
and Arminianism, but, said he, we do not need to. Go back to the Bible, to 
the pure untainted source, and there lay broad the foundations." 

This seems to be pretty much like asking Yahve to go back to Chaos. 
*' Back to the Bible ! " it will be remembered, was the cry of the Burning 
Bush Dancing Kellyites at Camberwell Baths. It is something like the 
cry of some Socialists — " Divvy up and begin afresh, so that all may 
have an equal chance ! " Of course, it only means. Back to our reading 
of the Bible, for they all profess to have gone back to the Bible already. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 41 

Suppose, however, we could wipe out the history of Protestantism and 
get back once more to its starting-point, with nothing hut the Bible as 
our guide, and all agreeing to accept it as the one infallible foundation 
of religion, what reason is there to suppose that we should avoid the 
pitfalls that have caused so many pious Bible-worshippers to lose what 
little brains nature endowed them with at birth ? 

It does not seem to strike these "Back to the Bible " people — the 
Methodists and Baptists and Episcopalians any more than the Burning 
Bush and Pentecostal Dancers — that going back to the Bible has really 
been the cause of all their sectarianism. To go back to the Bible — to 
*' the pure, untainted aource," as Dr. Duval described it — to cure the 
dissensions of Christendom, is just like taking a treatment of whisky 
to cure delirium tremens. All the sects profess to have gone back to 
the Bible already, and that is the very reason why there are so many 
sects and so many creeds — and so much religious lunacy. 

We 83'mpathize with Dr. Carman in his hankering after a creed. We 
cannot imagine what a religion would look like without a creed. There 
could be no religion — that is, in the accepted sense — unless a man could 
come up to you with a club and demand that you believe as he believes, 
on pain of being smashed or roasted to all eternity. Of course, the pious 
people are to-day a little more chary of doing the smashing or burning 
business, but these things, in one form or another, are of the essence of 
all our Western religions. 

And in this religion is not very different from politics. If you do not 
repeat the party shibboleth, attend the party meetings, applaud the party 
speakers, and vote the party ticket, you are anathema, and may as well 
put up your shop-window shutters. '* Back to the Bible ! " is aery that 
shows how faintly the preachers appreciate the difficulties of the task 
they have undertaken or the causes that have led to the present condi- 
tion of things. They are like bats — lost in the daylight. 

REV. HINCKS ON THE DECLINE OF METHODISM. 
On Sunday, January 15th, in Trinity Methodist Church, Toronto, the 
preacher, the Rev. W. H. Hincks, gave his ideas as to the causes of the 
decline in Methodism. Of course, all Methodist preachers do not admit 
that Methodism is declining, but Mr. Hincks appears to be one of the 
honest and intelligent ones, and sees not only the actual fact, but how 
it has come about. He assigin? two causes for the decline, (1) the Evo- 



42 SECULAE THOUGHT. 



lutionary Hypothesis, and (2) the Higher Criticism. Of the latter he 
says : 

'• During thirty years not the Methodist public only, for all the churches were 
under the same influences, but the general public, had been reading magazines, 
books, sermons, and college lectures on this method of interpretation. The result 
had been a steady honeycombing of belief in the Bible as their fathers had under- 
stood it. He wondered if the new method of criticism would awaken the old 
enthusiasm for evangelism The College, which had done so much to bring 
about the change, owed it to the Church to teach it how to evangelize under the 
new conditions. Thirty years ago they believed in a literal Garden of Eden, 
that Methuselah lived 969 years, that God told Abraham to offer Isaac, that God 
wrote at Sinai with his finger on stone, that the walls of Jericho fell by miracle, 
that Elijah ascended in a chariot of fire, that a whale swallowed Jonah. The 
statements that their fathers took literally were now styled figurative Orientalisms. 
How could revivals be expected when such changes as these were being made ? 
The church was not now assailed from the outside, but by extremists from within. 
The net result of the Higher Criticism had been agreed to be that revivals were 
not so frequent, religious excitement was looked upon with suspicion, religious 
activity was h ss intense, prayer meetings were smaller and fewer, and the religious 
life was less emotional " 

Mr. Hiijcks is in our opinion both right and wrong. There cannot be 
the slightest doubt that many intelligent men in the churches have had 
their opinions entirely revolutionized by the modern development both 
of theological criticism and of scientific investigation ; but we may say 
with equal truth that the masses of the people have had their religious 
notions largely undermined by those practical improvements in the arts 
and industries the wonders of which have eclipsed spookdom. 

Though comparatively few of the masses, we think, have any clear 
ideas of either the Higher Criticism or the Evolution Hypothesis, they 
have begun to appreciate something of the dependence of all mundane 
affairs upon the reign of universal and immutable law, and are getting 
tired of listening to the twaddle of preachers who have nothing to tell 
them beyond the story of "Christ and him crucified," and homilies about 
the sin of unbelief and the peace of God that passeth all understanding. 

With all of its defects, the modern novel, like the modern theatre and 
the modern newspaper and magazine, has opened up new worlds of sen- 
timent and emotion, with new ideals of duty and devotion, which have 
practically displaced the old theological and ecclesiastical ideals ; and it 
is a one-sided and professional view to attribute the religious decline to 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 48 

the two causes mentioned. Loyalty to truth and virtue, the duty of all 
intelligent people to spend their best resources and efforts to ameliorate 
the diseases of the body politic, and an ideal of social and family life 
undreamt of by the old school, are rapidly replacin<T; the religious creeds, 
leading to efforts to make a heaven on earth instead of one in the skies. 

Nor is it true that the church is more strenuously assailed by extre- 
mists from the inside than by outside opponents. Were this true, there 
would be no sense in the constant attacks made bj^ the pulpiteers upon 
** infidels " and unbelievers.. It is recognized that Haeckel only voices 
the sentiments of practically the whole scientific world in his powerful 
attack on the church, and that is why he is so viciously denounced. 

And it is pleasing to hear Mr. Hincks' testimony to the decline of 
religious emotionalism and ''revivals," though some specimens there 
have been recently which are as erratic and degrading as any that have 
ever been seen. They are simply signs of untrained and uninstructed 
mentalities, worked upon by designing fakers, and are rightly regarded 
as " suspicious." But there need be no question that " new occasions 
will bring new duties," and opportunity and incentive for new^ revivals 
will surely come when men have begun to appreciate the full value and 
me^ ing of the new propagandism. 

l?everence for ''Sacreb'' Zhinge. 

:o: 



BY GEORGE ALLEN W^HITE. 

:o: 

II. 



In the intellectual realm, truth can stand ridicule, while falsehood cowers 
before it. The proposition that two and two make four does not need to 
he reverenced, and cannot be ridiculed — it is a fact. That summer is 
warmer than winter is a proposition that stands on its own feet, and no 
law is required to enforce respect for it. New York is the largest city in 
the western hemisphere, and ridicule of that statement is free to ii\\,sans 
favor and sans ostracism. It is a fact; and ridicule of facts comes out 
at the little end of the horn. 

Both sides of political, social, and economic disputes — and, in short, 
questions of ever}' description — are compelled to stand ridicule; and 
especially when a respectable following is led by a theory, it is conceded 
the right to ridicule the opposition as much as it pleases. Free Trade 
and Protection, Bi-metallism and No-metallism, Imperialism and Anti- 
Imperialism — relative to these and numerous other qiiestions no protest 
is heard against even the harsliest methods of propagandism. They all 



44 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



assume to Imve reason as a basis, and are ready for the worst, as ridi- 
cule cannot rout reason in the last analysis. 

It is chiefly the absurd that is ridiculed. What iconoclast flouts the 
naked idea of immortaHty, selfish and untenable though it be ? Absur- 
dities attaching to elucidation of it, such as spook-appearances at the 
behest of female " mediums " in dark rooms, are shown no mercy ; but 
the dream of immortality itself not being absurd, is not ridiculed. Is 
marriage ridiculed ? No, not the kernel ; only the fripperies and cere- 
monials transmitted by barbarous ancestors, such as those of rings and 
rice. 

Christianity is a fit subject for the satirist, because it is both unrea- 
sonable and absurd. Its fundamental hypotheses pronounce faith, not 
reason, to be the essential. When faith is elevated at the expense of 
reason, the natural implication is that the faith in question cannot stand 
the test of rational investigation. This is undoubtedly correct in the 
case of Christianit3\ It is so unreasonable as to be absurd ; and hence,, 
utterly unable to enter the arena like other moot doctrines, it insists upon 
unquestioning obedience in its devotees, and at least formal reverence 
on the part of a silenced opposition. No questioning, no argument. 
Believe or be condemned ; and, in any event, say nothing. Christianity 
is a sacrosanct coward, slinking from the light. 

. In place of gross fables and ridiculous anachronisms, fastening them- 
selves upon us through inheritance, why not inculcate reverence for 
Truth ? — using the word reverence in its milder meaning. Where is the 
heretical disturber who has ever ridiculed Truth ? Wh}^ not teach reve- 
rence for Right, for Brains and Intelligence, for Tolerance, for the Right 
of Private Judgment, for Morality ? Can any Freethinker be named in 
the history of the world whose sword has been aimed at these things ? 
If so, who is he? Give us his name. Far from ridiculing, the Free- 
thinker has not even opposed, he has favored. And not only has he 
favored : he has died, he has hanged by the neck, he has writhed in the 
dungeon and the torture-chamber, he has burned at the stake — all for 
what in rational moments men admit to be glorious ideals of human 
life ! While the bigot was chaining the mind of man with forced reve- 
rence for that quintessence of selfishness, everlasting bliss for the bigot, 
his victim was sublimely gasping oat his last breath in the interest of 
the grand and true — and curses have clustered about his memory for it. 
The Christian does not reverence these desiderata. On the contrary, his. 
existence is, consciously or unconsciously, a perpetual effort to dethrone 
them, to vitiate them. 

Prentice Mulford says, in his '' Ichabod Crane Papers :'* 

" Fifteen years ago, when we heard our first infidel dispute the existence of a per- 
sonal god, we could barely treat him with common civility. He had, as we held it, 
insulted the 'God of our Fathers.' Yet at that very time we were leading a reckless 
life, disobeying most of the laws reputed to have been made by him, and ready to 
disobey more as soon as they were made." 



SECULAK THOUGHT. 46 



Although religion, wherever found, is the principal cult demanding 
reverence, it is not absolutely alone. Heverence for whatever is old and 
established is attempted to be enforced on all dissenters. You must not 
give umbiags to people, even to the smallest extent, by failing in respect 
for the forms common to the community. 

William Henry Flower has illustrated this tendency in his essay on 
** Manners and Fashion," wherein, speaking of justifying the iconoclast, 
he remarks : 

" Some, indeed, argue that his conduct is unjust and ungenerous. They say that 
he has no right to annoy other people by his whims ; that the gentleman to whom his 
letter comes with no ' Esq.' appended to the address, and the lady whose evening 
party he enters with gloveless hands, are vexed at what they consider his want of 
respect or want of breeding ; that thus his eccentricities cannot be indulged save at 
the expense of his neighbor's feelings ; and that hence his nonconformity is in plain 
terms selfishness." 

The Christian, it may be added, is little more pleased at hostile argu- 
ment than at irreverence itself. In short, his desire is that nothing 
whatever shall oppose the sect to which he belongs or the beliefs he has 
embraced. Lack of reverence, therefore, occupies virtually the same 
ground as controversial opposition ; but as now-a-days hardly anyone 
dares to assail freedom to argue, the " argument " for unargued reve- 
rence falls earthward with pronounced impact. 

If anything is false, it certainly cannot merit reverence. Truth is of 
more importance than the temporarily agitated feelings of a selfish bigot. 
Let us glance backward. Sun- gods, wind-gods, cloud-gods, river-gods, 
and other gods of nature have disappeared. Progress has swept them 
away. Were such fictitious objects of adoration ever entitled to the 
reverence of an intelligent person ? 

In our ancestral evolution, Fetichism came and went, and Animism 
had its day. The mythical creations of the ancient Chaldean religion 
have faded from memory. Egyptian superstition, with its Osiris, Isis, 
and Bubastis, is no more. The Assyrian Asshur and Bel have ceased to 
reign. In Greece the old Oracles are silent — they have nothing to say 
on topics of interest. Ashtaroth and Moloch, the Phtenician deities, are 
asleep and are forgotten, along with the peoples who summoned them 
into being. The Roman Jove and accompanying deities have given up 
the ghost. Druidism is blotted out, and no one reverences it more. 

It is related that, in marching against Babylon, Cyrus encountered 
serious opposition in one place ; but, discovering that dogs were consi- 
dered sacred by the natives, he caused his soldiers to collect all the dogs 
they could and carry the brutes in front of them when the next attack 
was sounded. In this way he succeeded in winning a decisive victory 
and subjugating the j>eople to slavery. 

Now, the question is, what reverence did any of these absurdities and 
ephemeral inventions really deserve from the more intelligent minds of 
antiquity who recognized tiiemr for what they were *.^ And if these sys- 



46 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

terns of faith, based as they must have been upon falsehood, were justly 
open to attack, what shall be said for the Christianity of our day, which, 
deferring to faith, is not a whit more defensible by reason than the old 
systems ? Formerly, world-faiths sought to enforce an even more rigor- 
ous reverence than does the popular religion now ; and as we condemn 
that enforcement of bygone days, logically the condemnation must be 
extended to the presert time. 

(To be continued.) 



Zhc 1Flee& of IfntcUectual Sinccriti?^ 



:o: 

BY GEOFFREY MORTIMER. 

:o: 



RoAMfNG one day in autumn upon a narrow strip of shingle between the wave 
worn cliffs and the foam-crested breakers of the wild northern sea, on the coast 
of Banffshire, I met a sturdy fisherman carrying a rod and a string of fish. Our 
way lay towards the grey fishing-village on the windy bluff, and as we bore one 
another company the fisherman discoursed upon his calling and spoke of the 
better days which he had known. Perhaps a remark of mine inclined him to 
unburden his mind, for, as we walked on, he related the story of his misfortune. 
From early boyhood Jock had foflowed the business of fisherman. He had 
made many voyages to the deep-sea fisheries, and spent weeks afloat on restless 
waters. Scottish fisherman are pious and superstitious. Jock was nurtured 
upon Calvinism, and grew to manhood in the comforting assurance of '* election.'' 
In every event of his life he saw the controlling hand of God. He prayed for 
success at his setting out upon the treacherous waves, and he thanked Providence 
for his safe return to the little haven below the bluff. 

One day Jock chanced to meet a stranger and a landsman, who talked of 
" deep things," and set the fisherman thinking. The stranger was one of those 
whom the ignorant term "infidels." He was an earnest, well-read schoolmaster. 
At first Jock defended his faith with a great array of texts and authorities, for he 
knew his Bible and had never failed to attend the kirk ; but the schoolmaster's 
fervor, no less than his logic, impelled Jock to review his dogmas in a wholly 
fresh spirit of inquiry. 

" At first," said Jock, " I thought the mon verra clever, but verra wrong in 
opinion. Still, there seemed a sort o' gudeness in the way that he sought for 
truth above all things, and when I had passed an hour or two with him, I couldna 
deny that he was a mon who wished well towards his fellow creatures. Wee), 
bit by bit, as I lay o' nights on the watter, I cam' to the conclusion that I could 
nae langer believe in maist o' the doctrines. One after anither they slipped away 
from me till I couldna go to kirk without feeling myself a hypocrite. Then I 
bought book? written by men o' the schoolmaster's way o' thinking, and just set 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 47 



myself to inquire. The meenister cam' to see me and said I was * puffed up wi' 
spiritual pride to question what maist folk believed.' But I couldna turn back, 
and I had no mind to, for the world and life and mankind were like a big book 
opened to me, and I kenned that I had deceived myself in the past about maist 
things." 

" Sometimes," continued Jock, " I was tempted to talk to my mates on their 
religion. They wouldna listen, for the maist part ; and they began to speak of 
me as an Atheist. One day the skipper of a smack cam' to me and said : ' Jock, 
the men refuse to go out with you aboard. They say that God will bring his 
judgment upon a vessel that has an unbeliever in the crew.' " 

" Now, sir," said Jock to me, " I couldna deny my opinions, though I was to 
be killed for them. The meenister cam' to argue, but I stood out. Folk said I 
would starve. 'Then,' said I, 'I must starve.' Some called me fule, and 
others called me worse ; still I couldna be a hypocrite. So now I have to live 
as best I can by fishing from the rocks, or alone in my boat, and tending my 
wee bit garden and fowls. They pity me, but I should more need their pity if I 
lied to them about my opinions. Still, it's a hard struggle that I have for bread." 

A few months after my meeting with the Banffshire fisherman, 1 went to stay 
in the house of a prosperous country solicitor. My friend is an Agnostic. He 
maintains that there is no other position for a cultivated mind. On Sunday 
morning he appeared in the customary black garments, to escort his wife and 
family to the parish church. Perhaps he noted an expression of faint 'surprise 
upon my face, for in the evening he began a defence of opportunism on the plea 
of sheer necessity. " You see," said he, " I am forced to play the humbug or 
lose my income. No one in this town would employ an avowed Agnostic lawyer. 
I have a wife", I have children to support, educate, and place in life. I must 
dissemble or go to the wall." 

It is not for me to judge this man hardly ; but I could not help thinking of 
the resolute Jock, the fisherman, who cared more for his opinions than for 
worldly comfort. The case of the solicitor confronts us everywhere in society. 
If we examine the mass of dissimulation which makes up the greater part of the 
ostensible piety of the educated classes, we shall find that intellectual sincerity is 
exceedingly scarce. 

Orthodoxy is reduced to the condition of an army numerically strong on paper, 
but composed of a very large proportion of sheer " inefficients " and physical 
incapables. It is sometimes argued that "opinions matter much less than con- 
duct." Without closely discussing that view, we may ask whether there cah be 
any general tendency towards the higliest conduct of life while the dissembling 
of opinion is regarded as an essential of tolerable existence in the community. 

When the Galilean teacher announced that the rich can hardly inherit the 
kingdom of heaven, he reckoned with that force of cautious and worldly-wise 



48 - SECULAR THOUGHT. 



self-interest which txists in every nation. Our prophets of to-day point to the 
great host of toilers as the impellers of the upward movement. Whitman tells 
us that cur hope is in the pioletarian. Ibsen foresees an aristocracy of workers 
and women, Tolstoy bids us trust in the power and tenacity of the lower classes. 
It is often said, by way of sneer or reproach, that organized Freethought in this 
country owes its inception and conduct chiefly to poor and lowly men. And yet 
it was from such source that the mighty creed of Christianity arose. It is the 
men of the sterling fibre of Jock who help to save the race from gross materialism 
and moral decay. In its early flush of triumj.h, and on to the day of its decline, 
religion is vitally connected with the market. From purity of motive and the 
aspiration for right living, piety merges at length into something akin to a com- 
mercial asset, until it assumes a guise in which it would be utterly unrecognizable 
to the founder of its creeds. Religion in its last stage is a badge of popular 
respect, which men and women put on upon Sundays — an empty fa'^hion of the 
worldly and a means of securing a " business connection." To this pass must 
come every faith and every systematized code of morals, so long as commercial- 
ism is exalted as the most excellent manifestation of a nation's might. 

As one who has known and seen something fif the repressive methods exercised 
by majorities upon those minorities of the population, which are deemed danger- 
ous and harmful by reason of op nion, perhaps I may be permitted to advise the 
timorous that they are sometimes apt to cry " Wolf" when there is no wolf to be 
feared. * If we were mostly in Jock's situation, there would be some measure of 
extenuation for taking the Ime of dissimulation. Here and there, no doubt, it 
may be considered commercially disastrous for a small tradesman to declare his 
Freethinking principles to his " connection " of narrow-minded chapel-goers. But 
the oi^portunism of thousands of well to-do persons is hard to excuse. It is a 
form of cunning that one associates with l>ing and fraud. Let a man choose 
whether he will be a slave or free. — Literary Guide. 



Ibuman llmprovement bi? ''Selection/' 

BY B. F. UNDERWOOD. 

GivKN knowledge of heredity sufficient to make it possible to use conscious 
selection in combining the qualities necessary to insure intellectual and moral as 
well as physical improvement, the higher stirpicullure would be practicable to at> 
indefinite extent. 

Do we possess such knowledge ? We can improve the animals below man so 
as to make them fitted to serve our purposes. Having fellow human beings 
subject to our will, we could by breeding improve the stock and strain, increase 
the descendants' strength, power of endurance^ amiability and submissiveness. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 49 



But when we attempt to use the reproductive element to change the charac- 
teristics of living beings so as to make them better, higher and more capable of 
self-support and self government, without reference to their service to us, we are 
up against a difTerent proposition. In so far as we can instruct persons to form 
wise unions for themselves, we can undoubtedly help them. But how far can 
we do this? We can advise consumptives and paralytics not to marry ; we can 
advise the weak and feeble to remain single ; we can urge the importance of 
selecting for partners persons who are essentially sound in body and mind. But 
do we know enough to inform the rising generation how to marry so as to insure 
offspring of the best quality, mentally and morally, as well as physically ? D) 
we know what the combinations were that gave to the world Socrates, Marcus 
Aurelius, Rogtr Bacon, Bruno, Servetus, Luther, Shakespeare, Milton, Kant, 
Gibbon, Humboldt, Washington, Jefferson, Webster, Lincoln, George Eliot and 
Florence Nightingale ? 

A large amount of vitality and muscular development do not imply intellec- 
tuality or a fine moral nature. What strong and symmetrical men were the 
South Sea Islanders seen at the World's Fair at Chicago ! Yet, mentally, they 
were children. 

One of the conditions of a high degree of mental development in a people is 
sensitiveness and susceptibility to the nervous maladies. Lombroso and other 
psychiatrists and alienists have shown that most of the noted characters of history 
from Pericles to Peel, fro«n Socrates to Spencer, were victims of neuropathic 
troubles of some kind. Nesbit gives sketches of nearly three hundred authors, 
artists, statesmen, generals, philosophers, philanthropists, etc, including the most 
famous men and women of the past, and shows that they inherited diseases or 
neuropathic tendencies which developed into physical or mental disorders. The 
world cannot, in its desire for physical strength and soundness, afford to lose 
men and women of genius such as have helped to make the race progressive and 
the world brighter and better. 

Some writers maintain that genius is a result of the concentration of mental 
force in some portions of the brain at the expense of other portions, whereas in 
ordinary persons the distribution is general. Hence, the eccentricities, the 
erraticisms, the weaknesses, as well as the brilliancy of painters, poets, orators, 
inventors and discoverers of genius. 

Does anybody know how to teach the young how to make selections of com- 
panions that will add to the intellectual and moral worth of the world ? 

It is vain that theoretical stirpiculturists point to the results of men's experi- 
ments which have resulted in improved domestic animals, fruit and grain. It is 
evident enough that man can improve members of his own race under similar 
conditions and for similar purposes, by the same methods 

The question is, how can the human race be improved mentally, morally and 



50 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

physically so that self-sovereignty shall not be lost in servitude, so that subjects 
of the experiments may be their own masters, able to order their awn lives and 
not be like " dumb driven cattle," under the domination and existing for the 
profit and pleasure of others ? 

The animals which' have been domesticated and, under the supervision and 
selection of man, have been improved for his use, restored to a state of nature, 
would either perish or in time revert back to their original condition. In the 
struggle for life there have survived those physical and mental qualities in 
different environments which have been the best for the animals, those which 
have fitted them to compete successfully, to overcome the obstacles in their 
surroundings, and to adjust themselves to apparently unfavorable conditions 
which could not be escaped. 

Every deviation from the type which Nature has produced in the struggle for 
life is a departure from the natural conditions which are favorable to the 
** survival of the fittest" where the hand of man does not come in to protect and 
enslave for his own purpose. If a group of men should attempt to modify family 
stock, to change by selection a number of human beings so as to make them 
pre-eminently virtuous and good, such efforts might result in unfitting the subjects 
of such experiments for a self-supporting career in an environment requiring 
them to compete with their fellow-men and to achieve success, if at all, by their 
own efforts. To succeed in this world, where competition is keen, men must be 
capable of attrition with their fellows and of benefitting thereby. They must 
possess combativeness and aggressiveness as well as knowledge. Mere amiability, 
kindness and concessiveness will not do. 

In trying to breed a variety free from vicious inclinations, free from strong 
tewdencies to coarseness of life, the danger might be in eliminating that animal 
strength, that natural vigor, without which virtue is mere weakness, negativeness, 
— nothing. To have great strength of character, to have great moral qualities, 
there must be capacity for wrong-doing, with liability of abuse of those strong 
<}ualities which, unperverted and wisely directed and controlled, give us the 
highest type of manhood and vfomsinhood.^ Progressive Thinker. 



H Cbrtetmae Sermon. 

:o: 

BY THE REV. JEREMIAH WARNER. 

:o: 



There are two very solemn occasions in the Christian year ; Good Friday, on 
which God Almighty was executed, and Chri^mas Day, on which he was born. 
Every sincere believer regards them with peculiar awe, and from morn to eve 
ponders the transcendent mysteries connected with them. Eating and drinking, 
all the pleasures aud pastimes of life, are out of place at such fcimes. Who could. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 51 

pamper the flesh while thinking of his bleeding God, agonizing on the terrible 
cross? Who could dawdle over savory dishes and sparkling wines while remem- 
bering the Incarnation of God in the form of a child for the purpose of walking 
through this miserable vale of tears, in order to save his ungrateful children from 
everlasting hell ? Who could'dance and sing on the day when his Savior began 
his sorrowful career on earth, where he was born in a stable, lived on the high 
road, and died on the gallows ? 

Yet, alas, the number of sincere believers is small. They are only a remnant, 
a little band of saints in the midst of a sinful world, oases of piety in a wide 
desert of ungodliness. While they macerate themselves the rest of mankind 
revel in all kinds of delight. Yes, on Good Friday, on the very anniversary of 
their Redeemer's passion, these light-hearted sinners play at cricket and football, 
go on picnics, and make excursions to the seaside ; eating roast mutton instead 
of worshipping the Lamb, and swilling beer instead of mourning over the 
precious streams that flowed from their Savior's veins. And on Christmas Day, 
the anniversary of his entrance into this scene of woe, when he forsook his 
glorious palace in heaven for a paltry stable on earth, taking upon himself the 
burden of teething, measles, whooping-cough, and all the ills that baby flesh is 
heir to, they go not to the House of God and bend their knees in humble praise 
of his ineffable condescension, but stay at home, eating all manner of gross 
viands, drinking all manner of pleasant liquors, dancing, singing, playing cards, 
telling stories round the fire, and kissing each other under the misletoe. 
Thoughtless wretches ! They are treading the primrose path to the everlasting 
bonfire. How will they face the offended majesty of Heaven on that great Day 
of Judgment, when every smile of theirs on such solemn occasions will be 
treated as an unpardonable affront ? Brethren, be not deceived : God is not 
mocked. 

Still worse than these sinners, if that be possible, there are nriserable sceptics 
who would have us believe that God Almighty was neither crucified on Good 
Friday nor born on Christmas Day. These presumptuous infidels pretend that 
both those holy festivals are derived from ancient sun-worship. They dare to 
ask us why the anniversary of the Crucifixion, instead of falling on the same 
day in every year, depends on astronomical signs ; and they mockingly remind 
us that the birthday of our Savior is the same as that of Mithra and all the sun- 
gods of antiquity. True, the heathen celebrated the new birth of the sun on the 
twenty-fifth of December, from the fiery east to the frozen north, from Persia to 
Scandinavia. ^ But what of that ? Their celebration was invented by the Devil,. 
who lorded it over this world until our Savior cam€ to bruise tbe old serpent's 
head. He prompted the heathen to commemorate the twenty-fifth of December, 
for the plausible reason that the Sun had then decisively begun to emerge from 
his winter cave, giving a fresh promise of gentle spring, lusty summer and 



52 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



fruitful autumn. I call it a plausible reason, because the Sun is never born, any 
more than it rises and sets. These phenomena are all illusions, caused by the 
movement of our own earth. But the cunning Devil took advantage of men's 
ignorance to deceive them ; a;id having appropriated our Savior's birthday for 
another purpose, he calculated that it never would be restored 'o its rightful use. 
But, Ood be thanked, he was mistaken. Our Holy Church fought him for three 
car turies, and at last, having enlisted Constantine and his successors on her side, 
she exterminated the Pagan idolatry, and established the religion of Christ. Then 
were all the Dtvil's subtle inventions destroyed, and among them the sun-worship 
which disgraced the close of every year. Happily, howtver, the task was not so 
hard as it might have been, for the Devil had outwitted himself. He had accus- 
tomed the heathen to celebrate the day on which Christ was to be born, and so 
our holy Church had little else to do than to substitute one name for another, 
and to devote that day to the worship of the true God instead of a false one. 

Since then, alas, owing to the native depravity of the humm heart, Satan has 
recovered some of his lost power ; for he is a restless, intriguing, malignant 
creature, whose mischief will never be terminated until he is chained up In the 
bottomless pit. Defeated by our holy Church in the east, he planned a fresh 
attack from the north, find carried it out with considerable success. He contrived 
to mix up our orthodox Christmas celebration with fantastic nonsense from the 
Norse mythology. Those who decorate Christmas trees and burn Yule-tide logs 
are heathens without knowing it, and it is to be feared that their ignorance will 
not excuse them in the sight of God. Away with such things, brethren ! They 
are snares of the P2vil One, traps for your perdition, gins for your immortal 
souls. Even the evergreens with which you deck your houses are a pitfall of the 
same old enemy. They are relics of nature-worship, diverting your minds from 
the Creator to the creature ; and well does Satan know, as ye glance at the 
white and red berries and then at the fair fact s and pouting lips of the daughters 
of Eve, that your thoughts must be earthly, sensual and devilish. I mean not 
that you will necessarily rush into illicit pleasures, and drink of the cup of sin ; 
but the carnal mind is always at enioity with (iod, and at such a time as the 
birthday of our Lord we shall incur his wrath if we do not keep out attention 
fixed on things above. 

There is another lesson, brethren, which you should lay to heart. Christ gave 
up all for you ; what will you give up for him ? His (ijspel is still unj-reached 
in many benighted parts of this globe. Millions of souls in Asia, Afiica, and 
America go annually to Hell for want of the saving words of grace ; and even at 
home, in our very midst there are millions outside the Church, who live in pagan 
darkness, and whose doom is frightful to contemplate. Deny yourselves then 
for your Savior, and if you cannot be as solenm as you should at this season, at 
least restrict your pleasures, and give the cost of what you forego to the Church, 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 53 



who will spend the money in the salvation of souls. A single bottle of wine or 
whisky, a single turkey or plum-pudding less on your tables this Christmas, may 
mean a soul less in fiell, and another saint around the great white throne in 
Heaven. Do not waste your wealth on the perishal)le bodies of the poor, or if 
you must feed the hungry and clothe the naked, let your charity go through the 
hands of God's ministers ; but rather seek the immortal welfare of dying sinners, 
and give, yea ever give, for the purpose of rescuing them from the wrath to 
come. Oh, brethren, neglect not this all important duty.— The choir will now 
sing the twenty-fifth hymn, after which we shall take the collection. 

— The Freethinker. G. W. Foote. 



TKIlbcre Hre ^beu Ht? 

:o: 



BY AVALON. 

:o: 



In Draper's " Searching For Truth " occurs the following passage : " On our 
elegant centre table, covered with dust, the Bible still challenges the intelligence 
of the human race." The truth of this passage will be admitted, by any candid 
observer. Some time ago the writer spent Sunday with a friend, and as his 
friend was a Kader in the local Sunday school he accompanied him to the church 
to see what sort of spiritual teaching was dealt out to the young people. The 
lesson of the day was " The Healing of Naaman." The pastor was present (by 
the way, he is a Doctor of Philosophy), and gave a short discourse on the 
" miracles," dwelling especially on the fact that the Jewish captive girl was able 
to tell Naaman where to go for relief, the result of good religious training, said 
our Ph.D., for observe, said he, the king did not know that Elisha could cure the 
Syrian, but the child did. Now our Ph.D. should have known *' that in the 
days of FJisha none was cured of leprosy save Naaman the Syrian." He did not 
explain why the Sjrian took two mule loads of earth home with him. Nor did 
he tell why all these miracles had happened several thousand years ago, but now 
of miracles there were none, unless we accept the statements of our Catholic 
friends. An English "monk," it appears, however, has performed severaf 
miracles without being found out. The fact remains, however, that Christians 
do not study their book, much less read it. If they did, what must they think 
when they find that one portion of it contradicts another ? In the 33rd chapter 
of Exodus is one instance of this. In the nth verse we are told that Moses 
spoke to " Yahwe " face to face, but in the 20th verse we have the contrary 
statement, that Yawhe very obligingly gives Moses a peep at his back parts. In 
one part of the book we are told that sacrifices of animals were commanded by 



54 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

Yawhe and in another that they are not. The descendant of a Moabite, unto 
the tenth generation, was not to enter into the temple ; yet we tind Solomon, 
the fifth in descent of the Moabitish woman, giving the dedicatory prayer at the 
opening of the temple. Higher critics tell us that the various books passed 
through a series of revisions, and give many instances to bear out their state- 
ments. A D.D., writing of the "word of God," says this: *'The word of God, 
as we have it in the Bible, has passed through human minds, and has been limited 
by their capacity and their language. The Bible bears the obvious traces of the 
Ihuman limitations of every author and every age." Our D.D. admits that much 
of its hi'^tory is n>erely legend, its tale of the Creation merely an improved form 
of a Babylonran myth. He admits many errors, but, on the principle, probably, 
that we must have some sort of a religion, he still stays by the book. The latter 
part of his essay is ^' rich." He says (page 20) : " Now I have only one word 
more to say to you as Christian men and women. Consider most carefully how 
you ought to feel towards skeptics and unbelievers. Learn to see in them much 
that is good. There is generally a keen desire for truth and a hatred of shams ; 
they rebuke ignorance and hypocrisy, and there is always a keener sense than we 
possess of the awful shortcomings of Christian people and of Christian churches. 
They cannot honor Christ if we are his representatives. . . . How shall we con- 
vict and convert them ? Never by arguments to prove that they are wrong ; 
never by contempt to prove that they are fools ; never by denunciation to prove 
that they are wicked." Our " reverend " proposes to do it by Christians 
practising what they profess to l>elieve by living up to the Golden Rule. Reading 
t)etween the lines one would think that our D.I), was himself next door to 
" Agnosticism." As a matter of fact to-day the Agnostic and the really educated 
theologian are nearer together in their thought and belief than the laity and 
poorly educated preachers are with the better educated. 

Dr. Lyman Abbott delivered a sermon that is mainly an exposition of *' Pan- 
theism," and it is hailed with delight by one part ( f the clergy and denounced 
by the other. A certain clergyman in the United States is said to have given 
expression to very heretical views at a meeting of the brethren ; there was a pause 
after he had spoken, broken by one of the reverends, who proposed that they 

take *' Brother B out at four o'clock and burn him." And then they all 

laughed. A year or more ago I met a young divinity s''udent, and in the course 
of conversation the remark was made that the evidence for the historical existence 
of such a person as Jesus was very slim He admitted it and said that apparently 
the Gospels gave an idealized sketch of some religious teacher among the Jews. 
ApoUonius of Tyana was given as an illustration of the deification of a man 
after death A rational examination of the Gospels would seem to show a like 
example in regard to the Jewish Teacher. In no other way can we explain the 
many contradictory statements to be found in the nariatives. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 55 



fIDat) flDur&ocft'e Hnimal Storica. 



THE CAT. 

My name is Thomas, and I lived at a big house with a semi-circular drive in 
front of it. I didn't own the house. Jones was the owner, and Mrs. Jones took 
care of me and called me her "dear boy." She put a blue ribbon round my 
neck, and let me sit on a dining chair next her at dinner. I wished she would 
not bother, for I really preferred taking cold turkey on the floor under the parlor 
sofa to taking it off her fork. I was pretty comfortable, and had a nice bed in a 
basket beside Mrs. Jones's bed, but for some reasons I'd rather be a dog. Dogs 
have recognized rights and are treated like gentlemen. Mrs, Jones had no dog, 
because I was the favorite and dogs didn't get on very well with me, but she was 
a member of some soi.iety that locked after dogs, and she had an iron box put 
on the street w;th a sign on it inviting all dogs to have a drink. There was gene- 
rally no water in the box, but the principle of equal rights to life, liberty, and the 
pursuit of o her dogs was recognized — on paper, which is the main thing. 

But as I am not a dog, T don't think I care much for dogs. One came into 
our grounds once. He was not a very big dog, but he had a large-sized opinion 
of himself, and as his mistress was pajing a visit to Mrs. Jones, he proceeded to 
make free with things. He first ran and chased a very nice friend of mine, and 
he nearly scared her to death ; and then he saw me. I wouldn't have minded 
if he hadn't chased my friend out of the lot. He was in a great rage at missing 
her, and he yelled at me and said he could make Hamburg steak out of me 
quicker than Deacon Perkins could lie about the value of his property before the 
Court of Assessment 1 decided to take that, for if I could stay fifteen seconds 
I would take the long end of the purse, for the deacon held the record for quick 
work. I'he dog rushed, and I side-stepped, and landed him seven on one ear 
and eght on the other. I gave him twenty-two on the nose and seventeen in 
the eyes. As it wasn't Queensbury rules, and I was referee, one eye came out 
and the other looked like what 203 Metre Hill would look like when the Japs 
got busy. Doggy cried '* Enough ! " but I wasn't through, and then he yelled for 
the police. The ladies were in the hall and Mrs. Jones was saying, ** We are 
going to have a five o'clock tea and perhaps a little progressive euchre. You 
must really come, the whole affair would be so dull without you." 

Mrs. Smithson Smythe replied that she seldom attended functions, but she 
would be only^ too happy to attend this one, as it was well known that Mrs. 
Jones gave the most delightful and exclusive parties in the town. 

I had found" my voice by this time and was asking doggy if he thought that all 
his father's family and their cousins could do me up, and he was protesting that 
he didn't mean to, but next lime he would be in training and then I'd feel 



56 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

something drop. I was emphasizing my remarks with the kind of words Jones 
used when he couldn't find the ke>hole at 3 a m ; and the ladies heard us and 
ran out to the lawn. Mrs. Smithson Smythe said : " Oh, my precious dear Gyp, 
what did the nasty btast do to you ? " " My poor boy Clarence, cid the wretch 
worry you ? " said Mrs. Jones ; and then she took me up and Mrs. Smythe took 
up Gyp, and they parted somewhat icily. As my guardian stroked my coat she said : 

" Nasty hateful cat ! I hope she won't come, that is, I hoj e she will, so that 
Jones, the hateful beast, may make a fool of himstlf over her, and I will get my 
excuse." But I knew she didn't mean me. 

When the day for the 5 o'clock tea came Mrs. Smithson vSmythe also came 
and I heard her tell Mr. Jones that she would never have come but in the hope 
of pleasing him. He kissed her hand then and sighed and said that he was 
weary of life in its present round of toil and want of sympathy. Then some 
other people came up and I had to leave, or be stepped on. Jones went out for 
a drive later with Mrs. Smjthe; he was going to take a long drive and asked 
Mrs. Jones if she would care to go. Mrs. Jones wouldn't care to go, as she had 
a headache. She always had a headache when there was deviltry doing When 
the horses came to the door Jones went out to take a look at them, and said to 
himself : " ['11 make love to this one, and make the old lady jealous. I do 
believe she cares more for that cursed cat than for me." When they were gone, 
my guardian danced a jig in the hall and said : 

*' I wish to heaven the horses would run away and break both their necks." 
Then she telephoned somebody and a big man with fine legs and a slim waist 
came, and she kissed him and cried and then laughed. Then they took a car 
for somewhere. She did not say goodbye to me and I never saw her again. 
That night Jones came back and, finding her gone, went away and got drunk, and 
I got only abuse from him when he was able to give me anything. I left the big 
place in about a week and picked up a sort of living around the back doors of 
houses, but I was not happy for I had no friends. One Sunday I was crossing a 
vacant lot and some boys who had just come out of Sunday school saw me and 
said, " Gee ! look at the big cat ; let's go for him," and they started to throw 
stones. One stone took me in the shoulder as I was climbing a fence, and 
knocked me down. The boys yelled like Indians and one of them was just 
taking me by the tail when I got up and away and they started the stones again. 

" Plug him ! " " Bust the beggar ! " " Give 'im hell ! " " Dam good shot ! " 
'' Hit 'im again ! " were the sounds J heard. I got on the fence and was going 
to jump into the next lot where a big white bulldog with pink eyes was waiting 
for me to get down. Just then, I didn't like his face, and so stuck to the fence 
till I came to the next lot, when another stone took me in the ear and knocked 
me over into a barrel of rain water. Half drowned, I managed to climb out 
and dropped to the grass. It was a small lot, with flowers all rojnd the sides 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 67 

and an old apple tree with a swing from one of its limbs in the centre of the lot. 
In the front of the lot there was a small frame house with the front fitted up as 
a repair shop for boots. There was a little girl in the swing when I fell in the 
rain barrel, and she got up and came towards me and said, " Poor pussy !" She 
had a little crutch and limped. I was too tired and hurt to run any more, and 
the little girl came and touched me on the head and said again, ** Poor pussy^ 
did bad people hurt you ? " She looked so small and spoke so nicely that I 
crawled to her feet and rubbed my head on her leg. In a few minutes we were 
quite friendly, and she coaxed me to the door of the kitchen and I went in. 

" Mamma," slie said to a big woman, " here is a poor cat that's been wan- 
dered and don't belong to anybody ; I'm going to keep it, can't 1 ? " 

•' Well, child, don't forget that milk is four cents a pint." 

" Oh, I don't need much now, I'm getting better, and I have nobody to play 
with. Aw do, mamma." 

So it was settled, and when the shop is closed and supper over I sit by an 
open hearth, and the little girl sits by me between father and mother and strokes 
my hair, while the parents stroke her hair. There are no bitter words and all 
seem contented, and I am glad I left the big house. 



/IDaD /iDur^ocft on a IRew JSool^. 

:o: 

Time was when you could not tell how good a book was till you read it Some- 
times it worked the other way, and then the only way to find out how far a writer 
of words could fall from literary grace would be to wade through the stuff. 

A Canadian who has been much advertized is " Rev." Gordon, of 

Witmipeg way. His pen name is " Ralph Connor." He is a man of such 
sterling stuff that he can, and does, face a camera with even less fear or doubt 
as to the result, than a Jap would evince when storming a Russian hill. It is 
evident that he is a self-made man, and that he has also created his god after his 
own image and, after inspection of the work, he " saw that it was good." 

In Gordon's yarns his hero is always a preacher, is nearly always Highland 
Scotch, and is always a physical giant. "The Prospector," a series of yarns 
about the North West, lamely connected by means of a preacher hero, is in line 
with his former efforts. 

Shock Macgregor is Canadian Scotch, is a preacher, is nearer seven feet than 
six in height.^and when he shakes the hand of the unwary stranger he makes the 
blood exude from 'neath the victim's finger-nails, just to show his Christ-like 
heartiness. Shock is humble, is meek, is a veritable Christ. He is ever 
smiling, cheerful, benevolent, solicitous for the welfare of the souls of the cow- 
boys who say •• damn," which the author is too pure in thought, word and deed 
to write down in plain Saxon. He renders it " blank," while not hesitating to 



58 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



write '* damnable " and " cursed " in the mother-tongue. We tried counting how 
often the word " blank " appeared, but quit the task at 1170 in despair. Evidently 
the author enjoys profanity but lacks the courage of his convictions. '* Shock,' 
being Scotch in the second degree, can vanquish any mere Irish or French man 
without reference to the victim's length or breadth. But he won't fight or get 
mad, this giant Jesus, even if you spit in his face and tweak his nose ; but, when 
you do that to another man, or abuse a horse, hog or dog in his presence and he 
does get mad, your friends will send a hurry call for the nearest surgeon if you 
are still breathing after one buffet. 

We have waded through *' The Prospector," not as a matter of duty, but with 
a certain sense of enjoyment, as we believe that when a book is infernally bad i; 
becomes pretty good. Rev. Shock Macgregor is an impossibility and " The 
Prospector " is worthless, not because the literary style and grammatical con- 
struction are faulty, as years of practice and reading might correct that somewhat ; 
hut because the author is a literary potboiler without a soul. 



ITbe IRatural TUnlversc. 

:o: 



BY A. ELVINS 

:o: 

In previous letters I have dealt with the material universe only ; and I have tried 
to trace the effect which Atoms and Masses of " moving matter " will have on 
other Atoms and Masses, but I have spoken of dead matter only. 

I have not, however, overlooked an important factor which certainly exists in 
connection with some masses. There are many things which not only exist and 
move, but live. 

LIVING MATTER. 

What constitutes the difference between living and dead bodies? There must 
be a difference. Dead bodies always obey the "laws of motion ;" living bodies 
frequently act in what seems to be a violation of those laws. The first law says : 
" Bodies in motion tend to move in a straight line and at an equable rate, unless 
acted on by some external force." This a dead body does. An arrow from a 
bow, or a shot from a cannon, moves in a straight line, except that its path is 
curved by the action of gravity, and its rate of motion is retarded by the friction 
of the atmosphere. The inertia of matter causes bodies to continue in the state 
of rest or motion in which they exist. These laws are not applicable to living 
bodies. 

I have often watched birds chasing insects. They dart swiftly after the fly, 
and turn at sharp angles after it at every turn the insect makes. This contra- 
dicts the ftrst law of motion. We see life and intelligence. With these factors 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 69^ 



supplied, the bird and the fly are able to overcome the inertia of matter and the 
laws of motion. 

But what is Life ? How does intelligent life act on matter to produce the 
changes we see ? 1 must remain an Agnostic in the true sense of the word : / 
donH know. 

Is there intelligence in the matter? or is it outside of the atoms and masses 
or between them ? If the forces which change the direction of moving living 
bodies existed in the matter forming the body, the laws of motion and inertia 
are not — cannot be — correct. A sleeping dog may be motionless, but when 
awake he runs, barks, eats, etc. He is motionless no longer : inertia does not 
act, the laws of motion are not preserved. 

When awake, the factors of mind and will are active. How can we account 
for their existence? Again^/ don't know. Who among your readers will throw 
some light on this question ? 



Cbristian Cbartt^ in a Catbolic IRunner^* 



The Paris Matin prints some startling revelations concerning the Providence 
Orphanage at Aix en Provence. The nuns who run it do a big trade in fine 
linen, lace, and general fancy underwear for women ; and increase their profits 
by having the work done for them by orphans and the children of poor parents, 
who are glad to get rid of their offspring. 

These unfortunate girls are not only " sweated " but starved and otherwise 
treated with great cruelty. Here is a sample of what went on, taken from a Paris 
letter in the Daily Telegraph : 

" One young woman, who has left the place, a Mdlle. Dye, said that when 
she was five years old her mother, a poor widow, had to send her to the Providence 
Convent with her two sisters. The mother paid down £"16 for the three girls to 
the nuns' notary, and they were to remain in the convent until they were of age. 
The girls were handed over to a nun. Sister Monica, who put needles into their 
hands and started them to hem pocket-handkerchiefs. The nun went round the 
work room every half-hour, whacking on the head with a box-wood stick the girls 
who looked up from their work, yawned, or showed any signs of indolence. 
Sometimes this remarkable Monica, who, if the correspondent's statements be 
true, had nothing in common with her holy patroness, the mother of Saint 
Augustine of Hippo, represented in Ary Scheffer's picture in the Louvre, ])lucked 
hairs out of the girls' heads, and put them into a bag in the corner of the work- 
room. The hairs were subsequently sold to coiffeurs of the district, the nuns 
being evidently determined to make the most out of their victims. Girls also had 
their hair cut when they happened to possess a fine crop. Monica was assisted 
by a sister named Clara, who was equally tyrannical, and knocked the children 
about at a fearful rate. As in the Tours Convent, refractory girls, or those sup- 
posed to be so, had to make the sign of the Cross with their tongues on the 
floor of the refectory or eating-room. Worse and more disgusting punishments 
were also inflicted. 



60 SECULAK THOUGHT. 



"As to the food given at the institution the informant of the newspaper 
correspondent says that it barely cost thirty-five centimes daily for each girl. The 
meat was often uneatable, and when it was refused the tyrants, Monica and 
Clara, rammed it down the children's throats, using towels to keep their hands 
clean. In winter there was no fire in the workroom, and when the girls blew on 
their hands to warm them they were beaten by Monica or Clara. Once a month 
those of the inmates who had friends were all<iwed to see them in the parlor, but 
Monica was always present like a turnkey watching over prisoners. In this strange 
institution of the picturesque and historic town of Aix enProverice illness did not 
count. Sick girls were haled and dragged to work by Monica and Clara, and 
those who fainted were beaten, and even kicked, back to consciousness. It was 
only when they were at the last extremity that ailing children were sent to 
hospital, vhere nearly all inevitably died." 

Is it not sickening ? And all in the name of religion, too ! — Freethinker. 



MISCELLANEOUS 



SUNDAY IN ENGLAND OF THE MIDDLE AGES. 
Speaking of rural life in England at the end of the 13th century, Prof. E. P, 
Cheyney, of the University of Pennsylvania, in an article in Lippincott's of Sep- 
tember, 1 90 1, says : 

"Villains as the bulk of the population were, in a certain sense, each village 
or manor was a little self-governing community. Their life was so much centred 
within itself, there was so little interference from the outside, that they seemed 
to be left to settle their own affairs in much their own way, or at least in such a 
way as could be reached by compromise between the people and the lord of the 
manor. The little assembly in which this local self-government was carried on 
was known as the manor court. It met usually on one day in every three weeks. 
All the tenants were bound to attend — at least, all the men and such of the 
women as were landholders or were separately summoned. The meeting was as 
apt to be on a Sunday as on any other day. The idea that the whole of Sunday 
should be kept for strictly sacred used seems to have been unknown in the Middle 
Ages. Sunday was often appointed for the opening day of Parliament, for sittings 
of the King's courts, for the gathering for a military campaign. The objections 
to its use for such purposes arose at a later date." 



"vGOING ! GOING ! GONE ! " 

'Down in a Virginia town, not long ago, the aged pastor of one of the churches 
fell ill. He was beloved by all the neighborhood, and a constant stream of visi- 
tors rang the bell to make inquiries. The nurse in charge was an intelligent 
negro woman, and she decided to issue bulletins at frequent intervals. She wrote 
them herself and pinned them to the front door, and this is the way they read 
as they appeared successively: "Rev. Blank am very sick." "i^ter— Rev. 
Blank am worse." " Night — Rev. Blank am sinking." " Morning — Rev. Blank 
have sunk." 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 61 



THE HAPPY ISLES. 

Where are the Happy Isles we dream about, 

Bright with the beauty of. unfading flowers, 
And lulled in peace through the long summer hours, 

Where no one knows a sorrow or a doubt ? 

Sometimes, when winds of fancy blow away 
The mists that gather on the grey world's rim, 
I catch brief glimpses, mystically dim, 

Of lovely shores, fair with perpetual May, 

And hills that bask in sunshine all day long. 

And hear, across the leagues that lie between, — 
The long, long leagues that always lie between, — 

Strange smging, with no minor in the song. 

And then the vision fades — the music dies — 
But I have had my glimpse of Paradise ! . 
■LippincotVs. Eben E. Rexford. 



TO BE KILLED— OR WORSHIPPED? 
As it was the policy of the church to keep the masses in ignorance, the scanty 
and general information to be derived from that source was restricted to mem- 
bers of the privileged classes. The general and incredible abasement of the 
people in those times may be inferred from the fact that so late as 1590, when a 
mouse had devoured the sacramental wafer in one of the churches of Italy, it 
was gravely discussed by an ecclesiastical council convoked for that pur|)o^e, in 
the presence of a pious and wondering audience, whether the Holy Ghost had 
entered the animal or not, and if the demands of religion required that it should 
be killed or be made an object of worship! — Scott, ''History of the Moorish 
Empire in Europe^ 



GOOD HEALTH, MORALS, MANNERS— AND SUCCESS. 
In an address to the undergraduates of Rochester University, its former pre- 
sident, Hon. David Jayne Hill, now Minister to Switzerland, gave this recipe to 
college giaduates striving for success : 

*' Good health, good morals, good manners." 

Good health is usually necessary, and morals must at least not be bad enough 
to attract unfavorable notice, before success is attained. An engaging and a 
plausible address must be a great help to the struggler. But are successful men 
especially distinguished by the superior charm of their manners ? In playing 
the Survival of the Fittest, does politeness have a leading part ? 

We hope so. We ask on account of a sociological interest in the subject. 
Indeed, we trust that good manners are a mark and condition precedent of the 
successful. Then good manners may come to be cultivated for a sound econo- 
mic reason. At present, we might not be justified in asserting that the most 
successful college graduates are the most urbane. To be agreeable is a sufficient 
art, as important, ptrhaps, as success. — N. Y. Sun. 



G2 SECULAR THOUGHT, 



''THE LORD" NOT A GOOD LEGAL SURETY. 

Jucige Warren W. Foster tells this story of a London magistrate who had a crazy 
street preacher up before him charged with causing a street obstruction. 

'' While in London i dropped into the Row Strtet police-court one morning. 
I sat for a while and watched the proceedings. Presently a stret-t preacher was 
brought in for trial. The case against him was for making a public nuisance of 
himself by obstructing street traffic. The magistrate saw that the prisoner was a 
harmless lunatic, and, being a little tender-hearted, I suppose, did not feel like 
inflicting a penalty on him. 

" ' You must understand, my man,' said the magistrate, ' that we can't permit 
the streets to be obstructed in this way. However, I don't wish to be hard with 
you. If ^ou can give me, therefore, the name of a friend who will stand as 
surety that >ou will not commit this nuisance again, I'll discharge you.' 

" ' I have no friend, sir,' said the man, ' except the Lord.' 

*^' ' That may be so,' said the magistrate, ' but what I mean is, have you a 
friend who is a householder in London ! ' 

" ' I have the Lord,' said the prisoner ; * he is omnipresent.' 

" ' Quite so, quite so,' replied the magistrate, a little nonplussed ; ' but what I 
tnust have is a tangible surety — that is, a surety of-well — er — of more fixed 
residence, you understand.' 

'' The prisoner couldn't produce that kind of surely, so he was let off with a 
$2 fine and a warning." 



An English resident of Shanghai, having made an excellent dinner from a 
tasty but unrecognized dish, called his cook to congratulate him on his cookery. 

" I hope you didn't kill one of those street dogs to provide the soup,' jest- 
ingly remarked his daughter. 

Wun Hoo made a solemn gesture of dissent. " No killee dawg, missie," he 
explained. " Him alleady dead when I pickee up ! " 



" Hello, Simms, old man ! I hear your editress friend has rejected you ? '' 
" She has. I proposed to her in a letter, and she returned it to me with a 
note reading : ' We have read the enclosed M.S. with much interest, and thank 
you for your courtesy in sending it. It is rejected, however, as we have already 
accepted the offer of a contributor who wrote us upon a similar theme.' " 



Little Willie — What's a cannibal, pa ? 

Pa — One who loves his fellow men,' my'son. 



Prof. George Kirch wey. Dean of Columbia Law School, New York, besides 
being a lawyer of renown, has a keen and incisive wit. At one of his recent lec- 
tures the students were uneasy. There was something wrong in the air. Books 
were dropped, chairs were pushed along the floor, there were various interrup- 
tions, and the fierves of aU were evidently on edge. The members of the class 
kept their eyes on the clock and awaited the conclusion of the lecture-h(nir. The 
•clock beat the professor' by perhaps a minute, and at the expiration of the sche- 
dule time the students started to their feet and prepared to leave. But Professor 
Kirchwcy objected " VVait a minute," he said. " Don't go just yet. I have a 
few more pearls to cast." 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 63 



LIITLE JOHNNIE ON CREATION. 

I SED wnld Uncle Ned tell me a oiht r story about Addam and the anmals, and 
Uncle Ned he thot a wile and bun. b) he sed, Uncle Ned did, Johnny, wen o)" 
the anmals and the herds and the fishes and the crepin things and the kangaroon- 
appeared be fore Addam for to be give names a nice wit^-hcdded herd it come 
With the uthers. It looked at Addam and sed, Mister, wot are you agoin for ta 
call me ? 

Addam he sed, wot are yure babbits ? 

The herd sed, Mity reglar ; I arise with the sun and go to bed wen it is dark, 
and Ijdon't eat nothin only but jest seeds. 

Jest as it sed it it see a long red werm and jumpt on to it and et it up in a 
min)t ! Then Addam, he sed, I gess He call you a Licr. 

'I'hat made the herd so unhapy that it tritd for to beat its brains out aginst a 
tre till its head was covered with bleed, and it keeps up the pformance to this da. 
'I'hat herd is now called the woodpecker, cos the name wich Addam give it 
dident distinguish it from -a yumin being. And now, Johnny, h iving gave you 
the scientifficle xplanation of how the woodpecker come-* to have a red hed, like 
Missis Doppy, He tell you about the dove, wich is the emblem of peece. 

One day Addam he was wolkin in the gardin and he see the dove a sittin on a 
tre, and it was cooin real moarnfle, like its hart was broke. Thare was lots of 
fethersunder the tre and Addam knew it had et its mate. Addam, he said. Poor 
little feller, whare does it hurt you ? 

The dove it sed, I have lost my wife, that's whare it hurts me. 

Addam he shuke his hed real mad and past on, but ab(jut a hour later he 
come that way agin and seen the dove. It was all dubbled up and had its 
wings crost on the stummick of its belly mity sick, cos its dinner dident agree 
with it, and it a makin doleful sownds, jest like it did before. .Adam he sed. 
Wot are you a greefing about now ? Have you lost yure wife agin ? 

The dove i-t sed, Nosir, it's cos I have found her. 

Then Addam he sed, Vou cantankerus little cus, you shal groan with coUick 
for ever, and evry boddy shall bleeve its nuthing only but jjst cos you. have lost 
yure wife, jest as you sed. So yule get no simpthy. . ' 

But wen Franky, thats the baby, has got it mother she gives him cat nip te 
and ginjer and pepmint and tabasko sos and pain kiler and perry gorick and 
mustard and burnt brandy. Then the dockter he comes and gives him a emetick 
real quick and ses, Maddem, you saved yure chile's life. 

I sed did Uncle Ned kno wot makes the giraft sech a long necker, and he sed, 
Yes, I doo. The giraft is jest like uther anmals wen it is little, but it is mity fond 
of dates, and as soon as it is weened it begins for to eat them off of sech yung 
trees as he can reatch the frute. The date pom it goes on a groin and the gi 
he goes on a reatchin, and bimeby, wen his boddy has got as tol as it wil, his 
neck it keeps a stretchin and a stretchin til it is wot you behold. It's a grate 
mercy that the date pom stops groin some time, or the gi that is a sho cuden't 
be conseeled by a tent and wuld have to be showed in a church, with his hed up 
in the steple, and it wuld be a violent religious xercise for to look up to it. 

But Mister Pitchell, thats the preecher, he ses thecn which holds thair hed hi 
shall bile the dust, and the loly shall be insulted. 

I ast Uncle Ned wot made the pig have a curly tail, and he said, Its mighty 
curius about that, Johnny. One lime in the gardin of Edin the pig he was a 



64 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



rcotin round and he see a apple drop from a apple tree and he made off for to 
get it. But Addam he std, Hold on thare, my friend, that apples mity bad 
niedcine, cos I kno how it is myself. If you eat that you wil kno g- od from bad, 
and yure wife wont seem haf so nice to you as she did before. 

But the pig wudent stop, so Addam made a jump and ketched him by the 
tail, but cudent hold him, cos the tail sHcked out of his hand. So Addam he 
twisted the pigs tail around his finger and puld him bark out of perril. Then 
he drew his finger out of the twist and the pigs tajl has been curly ever since. 

But if me and Billy had ben thare we wuld hav et the apple and give the core 
to the pore pig, for the Bible it ses the rijus shal not be forsook. And thats wy 
A say a man is knew by the cumpny wich he keeps. 

•Jack Brily, wich is the wicked sailor, ses one time him and the captin of the 
-ship and th^ bosen thay went a shore on a sabbage iland for to look for wotter. 
Wile Jack was a little way of from the captin and the bosen the natif niggers 
thay cetched them ftllers and took them a way after sinkin the boat. Next day 
thay seen Jack and run to get him too, but Jack he stood on his hed and made 
fritefle mowths. So thay sed he was a god, and led him to thair king wich shode 
him grate respekt and took of Jacks close and had him painted red and green and 
yello and set on a throne. That nite the king sed to Jack, We have made a 
grate feest for you, the nicest pig wich you ever et. 

But Jack he is a mity suspishus feller, and he sed. Us gods don't eat only but 
just evry uther day, and I et yestday fore I come ashore. 

So thay et the feest ihemselfs, and nex day the king he sed, the king did, We 
have made a uther feest for you. 

Jack he sed, Wot you got to day, captin or bosen ? 

The king he sed, We don't raise sich things, we have got nice stewd horse. 

Jack sed to hisself, I gess it is all rite, and set down to the stew, cos he was 
mity hungry. Him and the king thay took big wood spoons and Jack he fisht 
around in the stew for a wile, and prety soon brot up a piece of leiher belt and 
a bras finger ring. Then he leeped to his feets and turned a han spring and >eld 
terible and roled his eys and showted. Rash mortle ! — horse is the emperor of 
meats, but how dare you stew it with the harness on ? Ketch mca rosted munky, 
quick as you can, with the tail attached, or lie make yure nosegro to yure hand ! 

Jack ses he staid on the iland five years and was fed so much munky that wen 
he escaped to a ship he skamperd up the riggin and leeped from mast to mast 
and chaterd srill. — Ambiose Bierce, in the Sunday American. 



Mr. Goldwin Smith is a kind, good man, respected by the people of Canada, 
and deserves the gratit-ude of the people of '1 oronto for his many benefactions 
to the poor of that city ; but he furnishes an illustrious and striking example of 
the fact that learning fs not necessarily synonymous with wisdom, or a partial 
consciousness of the fitness of things, and he has consequently failed to accom- 
plish anything for which posterity will specially keep his memory green. — 6/. 
Thomas Journal, 



Nothing will make the level crossing safe except its abolition. Frightened 
horses will charge through the best handled gates ; street cars will mount the 
best devised obstructions ; vigilance cannot guard against the carelessness of the 
prattling child. The level crossing in every great city will go on taking its toll 
of lives until we decree its death. Its abolition may cost money, but the lack 
of it will cost flesh and blood. — Montreal Star. 



SECULAE THOUGHT 

A Fortnightly Journal of Rational Criticism in 
Politics, Science, and Religion. 



J. 5. ELLIS, Editor. 


NEW SERIES. 




C. n. ELLIS, Bus. M^r. 


Vol. XXXI. No. 3. 


TORONTO, FEB. 11, 


1905. 


IOC.; $2 per ann. 



IRcductio act abeurctum^ 

:o: 

What Is that you say ? I treat holy writ with scornful deri- 
sion ? I certainly do not. The New Testament imbecilities 
are not holy writ. They are only the silly marvel-mongering 
of illiterates for illiterates. They stand upon the ignorance 
and prejudice and bigotry of the centuries. Not one of them 
could, in the light of to-day, stand for a moment upon its own 
merits. Does nobody else dare to say this? Then I will. 

Priestcraft has, and not disinterestedly, contrived to main- 
tain among us adults till this hour obscene tales, idiotic bigotry, 
idiotic legends, and barefaced lies, too crudely incredible for the 
fuirsery. And to discuss such banalities and insanities with 
grave demeanor and erudite convention is only a priestly sub- 
terfuge for maintaining them. No one knows this better than 
the priest. The indefensible legends and lies can survive grave 
and erudite volumes laboriously produced to expose them, but 
they cannot survive derision. 

I deny not that staid, restrained, and formal volumes of anti- 
Christian tendency have their use, but one bitter jibe of Vol- 
taire, one derisive smile of Ingersoll, is worth them all. A 
perverted Christian may go back to Christianity after he has 
reasoned against it; he will never go back after he has laughed 
at it. And much that is Christian is beneath reason, and de- 
serves only to be laughed at. — Saladin (IV, Stewari Ross), 



A Christi.an Miracle. — And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean 
spirit, and he cried out, saying : Let us alone ; what have we to do with thee, thou 
Jesus of Nazareth .'' Art tliou come to destroy us ? I know thee who thou art, the 
Holy One of (iod. And Jesus rebuked him, -saying : Hold thy peace, and come out 
of him. And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he 

line out of him. And they were all amazed. — Mark i : 23-27. 



66 SECULAK THOUGHT. 

EDITORIALS. 

THE EDUCATION QUESTION IN THE NORTH-WEST. 

Once more the education question in Canada has reached a stage where 
the Government and Parliament have to face the problem which they 
had to grapple with when the Manitoba School Question was fought out, 
resulting in the great victory of the Grits and Liberals under Sir Wilfrid 
Laurier. The problem is exactly the same — Shall the new Provinces be 
established with perfect freedom to settle their educational questions in 
their own way, or shall their hands be tied by provisions in their consti- 
tutions passed by the Dominion Parliament in the interest of the Roman 
Catholic Church ? 

Although many of our friends at that time assured us that our esti- 
mate of Sir Wilfrid Laurier's character was at fault, it seems to us now 
that it was not far astray. He certainly talked in a very different strain 
to the " Liberals " in Ontario and to the " Liberals " in Quebec- — the 
former mainly Protestants and the latter almost entirely Catholics — and 
each of these parties concluded that their friend Laurier had settled for 
ever in their favor the troublesome education question. 

It could not have been expected, however, that any rational settlement 
would suit both of them. Politically and religiously the Ontario Liberals 
seemed to have won ; but the quiescent attitude of the Catholic hierarchy 
led some of us to the conclusion that there was an understanding with 
the leaders of the successful party that the Catholic interests would be 
as well cared for as if the Remedial Bill had passed. 

The Catholic leaders are astute and patient when dealing with a power- 
ful antagonist. They can afford to wait. They know that, with untiring 
vigilance and ample means, success is generally within their grasp, if 
only they are not too anxiously demonstrative. And in the Manitoba 
school matter — barring a few kicks by M. Langevin — they are evidently 
fairly well satisfied with the arrangements entered into. 

To-day, however, the same question has again cropped up. The North- 
west Territories are to be parcelled off into new Provinces, and in the 
Dominion Parliament at Ottawa a special bill is now under discussion to 
settle the constitution and powers of the new Legislatures. The attitude 
of the party newspapers on the question shows how reckless of principles 
their editors are when discussing measures proposed by party leaders. 

'* Hands off Manitoba ! " was the battle-cry on the last occasion, and 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 67 

the sweeping victory gained by the party which raised that cry should 
be a warning to them that, though they have a large majority, a reversal 
of their former cry may ultimately bring a merited defeat. 

Yet this is the very course the Ottawa Government are now pursuing. 
*' Hands off Manitoba ! " meant that the Province was to be left to settle 
its educational question in its own way. A " Remedial Bill " passed by 
the Dominion Parliament was not to be allowed ; and the minority in 
Manitoba must in this matter abide the result, as minorities elsewhere 
have to do. 

The new bill now going through Parliament, instead of leaving the 
regulations respecting education to be settled by the Legislatures of the 
new Provinces, contains clauses sanctioning the establishment of Sepa- 
rate schools ; and if it is passed and not vetoed by the Governor-Gene- 
ral, the new Provinces will find themselves bound to a system they w^ill 
be unable to change without the greatest difficulty. 

THE TORONTO TELEGRAM TO THE FRONT ] 
We are very glad to see that one independent newspaper in Toronto is 
taking a rational view of this question. The Toronto Telegram quotes 
from the Orange Sentinel (explaining, so that there may be no mistake, 
that the extract is not from the Catholic Register) the following partisan 
liiid illogical presentation of the case : 

" It is not certain whetlier tlie people of the Territories and their representatives 

V>bject to having Separate scliools fastened upon them. There has been no organized 

or official protest against such a course, ahhough it has been known for two years or 

more that the danger was imminent. This makes it appear that the people inter- 

sted are satisfied. If tliat is the case, there is nothing for the other provinces but to 

u-quiesce with wliat grace they may. The attitude taken in 1896 was that a province 

hould not be coerced. It is strong ground still. But if a. province should not be co- 

rced into establishing Separate schools, it follows that it should not be coerced into 

rejecting Sep>arate schools. Consequently, the logical position for Ontario electors is 

to remain silent and allow the measure to become law, if the Territories are satisfied." 

Whether the Territories of to-day are satisfied or not, it seems clear 
that the proper course for the Ontario and all other Canadian electoi's to 
pursue is to demand that the Dominion Parliament shall not exceed 
its authority, or hamper future generations by enacting clauses upon a 
matter in which the new Provinces should be entirely free. To be silent 
while their representatives are voting against the constitutional riglits of 



68 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

fdllow-Canadians is to acquiesce in a political iniquity. If the Provinces 
are to be free in the matter of education, there should be 

No Dominion legislation at all upon the subject. 
The Telegram makes these sensible remarks upon the extract : 

"The Sentinel misrepresents D'Alton McCarthy, N. Clarke Wallace, and other true 
men living and dead when it says : 'The attitude taken in 1896 was that a province 
should not be coerced.' The ' attitude taken in 1896' was represented in the decla- 
ration ' Hands Off Manitoba !' - a declaration that meant no Federal interference 
with the provincial right to set up or tear down Separate schools. 

" ' The attitude taken in 1896' is ' strong ground still,' and the Orange Sentinel has 
simply no excuse for its pretence that the West ' would be coerced into rejecting 
Separate schools ' by the Ontario members, who simply ask the Dominion Parliament 
to mind its own business and leave the whole question to ' the people interested,' who 
' are satisfied.' 

" Ontario does not ask for an anti Separate school clause in the constitution of the 
new province, and why should Ontario take the Orange Sentinel's word for it that ' the 
logical position for Ontario electors is to remain silent ' while a pro-Separate school 
clause is being voted into the constitution of the new province ?. . . . 

" The Orange Sentinel betrays its complete misunderstanding of the protest against 
Federal interference with the provincial right to educational liberty when it says : 
' But if a province should not be coerced into establishing Separate schools, it follows 
that it should not be coerced into rejecting Separate schools.' 

" What could be more utterly unfair and untrue than the Orange Sent ineVs' sugges- 
tion that Dr. Sproule, M.P., and other advocates of educational liberty are trying to 
coerce a province ' into rejecting Separate schools,' when they are merely trying to 
coerce the Dominion Parliament into minding its own business ? " 

And to the Sentiners contention that, '* if the West is satisfied, it is 
the logical position of Ontario electors to remain silent and allow the 
measure to become law," it replies with these telling sentences : 

" ' If the West is satisfied,' then leave the whole question to the West, and let the 
Dominion Parliament keep its hands off the rights of every new province. 

" Whether 'the West is satisfied ' or dissatisfied, it is not now and can never be 
' the logical position for Ontario electors to remain silent ' while their representatives 
at Ottawa ' allow the measure to become law,' — in other words, while the votes of 
Ontario are being used to substitute Federal tyi'anny for educational freedom in the 
constitution of a new province." 

The following day the Toronto Telegram had an equally effective reply 
to the Toronto Star, which had copied and enlarged upon the SentirieVs 
argument. The contention that, though their representatives have to 
vote upon the proposed measure, the Ontario electors should not inter- 
fere, is the argument of men whose moral status is not very far removed 
from that of a burglar or a highwayman, and shows what little reliance 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 69 

can be placed upon the honor or honesty of men who are prominent in 
[Hirty politics, whether as editors or politicians. 

The fallacy underlying the use of the term " coercion " is not made 
very clear. It is pretended that the Dominion Parliament wishes to 
protect the West from coercion, but who will coerce the West if she is 
left entirely free to manage her own schools ? The West of to-day may 
he satisfied to let the innocent-looking clauses pass, but the West of the 
future may find itself in front of coercion from another source — one 
tliat never has and never will have any scruple about using any means 
available to accomplish its ends, — and then the innocent-looking clauses 
will be used as a real weapon, and it will be found that coercion comes 
from that Liberal party, with its Catholic and Orange partisans, which 
has forced through Parliament legislation on a subject with w^hich it has 
no right to deal. 

THE POPE AND THE MANITOBA SCHOOL QUESTION, 

Those who imagined that the Manitoba school question had been set 
at rest finally may have a rude awakening. As we have said on more 
than one occasion, things have been so managed that practically the 
schools of Manitoba are in the condition that was supposed to have been 
[♦rovided against. That is to say, the Church has been allowed to con- 
trol a large number of schools, and to employ unqualified ** brothers" 
and "sisters " as teachers, with priests in charge — realizing Separate 
bchoois, teaching religion, fully supported out of the public funds. 

And now the bishops, backed by the Pope, are demanding Separate 
schools for the new Provinces. Here is an interesting telegram from 
Montreal to the Toronto Star : 

" The Catholic clergy of the Territories, who are almost exclusively secular priests 
trained at the Montreal seminary, or priests of the Oblate Order, which has its head- 
quarters in this city, will take the stand that there must be Separate schools in the 
new Provinces. The influence that the clergy here has over the younger clergy in 
the West renders it possible to secure the exact attitude of the latter, which was made 
])lain by a n^ember of the Oblate Order who has been serving in the West, and who 
told your correspondent to-day that it was at the express desire of his Holiness the 
Pope that draiyht sepa.ate schools would be exacted. 

" The late Pope, he said, had asked the Archbishops of Canada to keep on fighting 
for Separate schools in Manitoba till they were secured ; and nothing would be left 

undone to have a distinct understanding from the start in the new Provinces The 

Canadian bishops, who are almost controlled by the large representation from the 
province of Quebec, expect they will have the support of the Lauricr (Government in 
their endeavor to secure the Separate schools." 



70 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

A large section of the population of Manitoba as well as of the West is 
Catholic, but there is also a large proportion of Jews, with many com- 
munities of Doukhobors, Galicians, Italians, and other Europeans, and 
if one section of the community is allowed to have Separate schools, the 
same privilege could not justly be denied to the others. 

Of course, all these sects may establish schools to teach their special 
religious notions, but the Catholics want to do this at the public cost. 
They contend that religion — their religion — is an essential part of a good 
education, and that priestly control of education is therefore necessar y 

In our view, there can be no doubt of the evil effects of a religiojus. 
education. To say that sectarian creeds and dogmas can be taught so 
as to include the ** great postulates of vital Christianity — the Brother- 
hood of Man and the Fatherhood of God," which Goldwin Smith loves 
to dwell upon, — is the height of absurdity. 

If creeds and dogmas are not worth fighting for — well, why so much 
of the fighting? Men figjht for what they believe to be true and valu- 
able ; and while men think creeds are all-important, they will naturally 
look upon opponents as necessarily wicked and fit for extermination. To 
pursue a different course would be to enact a criminal code without pro- 
cess of law or penalties. The Catholics at least have never been quite 
so idiotic as this. 

Nominally, our Canadian Government has no more to do with main- 
taining religion than it has to do with supporting Theosophy, Christian 
Science, or Secularism. In reality, such is the unscrupulousness and 
power of the modern followers of Jesus, that every Government is com- 
pelled to grant some privileges and exemptions to all the large religious 
bodies — spiritual backsheesh. Only a short time ago, it was complained 
that the Methodist body had not been sufficiently considered in appoint- 
ments to the Senate and to the public offices. Surely men who would 
make such complaints can have but a faint notion of what ** religion " 
should be. Imagine Jesus and his apostles struggling for an appoint- 
ment on the Sanhedrin or for the office of " publican 1 " 

The Catholics, we know, have an unanswerable argument against the 
Public school, in which knowledge and not religion is taught. It is dan- 
gerous to teach to children the alleged truths of modern science^ for 
many of them are opposed to the divine truths of the Catholic faith, and 
therefore only such matters as are approved by some competent Catholic 
authority should be taught in the schools. School knowledge is opposed 
to theological faith, therefore it is outraging our church to teach facts of 



SECULAE THOUGHT. 71 

science or history, or give examples of literature and art, opposed to our 
creeds and dogmas. And if it is the business of the Government to 
support the Catholic faith, there can be no question that it would be 
bound to obey the instructions of the hierarchy. 

Unquestionably, the Laurier Government owes its continued lease of 
power to the overwhelming vote cast in its favor by the Catholic electors 
of Canada, and it remains to be seen whether its pledges to the hierarchy 
in return for their support are of such a nature as to lead to the disrup- 
tion of the Canadian Public school system. 

While France, Italy, and Spain are making great strides towards free- 
dom from ecclesiastical control, Canada and the United States seem to 
be slowly sinking into the clutehes of Catholic and Protestant bigots. 

It certainly will be a monstrous joke if it is found that, while France, 
lately the stronghold of the Papacy, is turning out the congregations 
that have largely controlled the education of the French people, and is 
inaugurating a rational system of public instruction, the Pope is rapidly 
becoming the dictator of Canada in this all-important matter. 

SEPAEATION OF CHURCH AND STATE IN FRANCE. 

The defeat of the late Combes Cabinet in France by no means ends 
the anti-clerical programme of the French Liberals. A despatch from 
Paris of February- II announces that the new Premier, M. Rouvier, has 
introduced a bill into the Chamber providing for the complete separation 
of Church and State, and that the Chamber, b}' an overwhelming vote, 
decided to commence its debate immediately after the discussion of the 
budget and the military estimates. This is interpreted as meaning that 
the measure, with possibly some modifications, will certainly pass. 

The clerical party^'s representative, Abbe Gayraud, has stated that the 
party is willing to accept the measure, which is said only to need some 
ad-dition to secure complete religious freedom under the new regime and 
to avert some hardships which might attend the abandonment of a sys- 
tem which has existed for centuries, to make it acceptable to almost all 
parties. 

Whe« tliis measure is jmssed, France will occupy the proud position 
of leader in tlie van of civilized nations. It will he the only country 
which has entirely and deliberately freed itself fixDUi priestly control. It 
will be the Banner Land of Freedom. And it will be a land where no 
priest is allowed to distwt the minds of its Public school children. 



72 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

THE EVOLUTION OF CHRISTIAN EVIDENCES. 
The current " evidences " put forward in favor of Christian dogmas 
form an index to the changes that are taking place in Christian beliefs, 
if not among the unintelligent masses, at all events among those who 
to some degree are tinctured with the lessons of modern knowledge and 
investigation. A week or two ago, Canon P. Stokes, of Yale Universit}-, 
preached in Christ Church Cathedral, Montreal, and gave a good illus- 
tration of the changes that have come over the Christian apologist dur- 
ing the last few decades. Speaking of modern doubt, he said that the 
old arguments for Christianit}^ hardly satisfied the modern mind. He 
is quite correct here ; but we have plenty of ancient minds among us 
still, and though these may reject the mostly miraculous evidences once 
boldly set forth by our ghostly fathers, they are still led by evidences 
not a whit more rational, though not so baldly absurd and barbarous. 
Here are the arguments Prof. Stokes thinks will suit the modern mind : 

" Formerly men were asked to believe on the ground that Christ fulfilled prophecy 
and wrought miracles. To-day the argument centres less in what Christ did than in 
what he was. In clear and convincing fashion the Canon developed four lines of 
testimony to the divinity of Christ : i, His own claims to be the Messiah; 2, the 
authoritative fashion in which he announced his message ; 3, his sinless character ; 
and 4, the impression he produced upon his generation." 

Naturally enough, though a college professor. Canon Stokes made no 
reference to the manifest fact that no possible evidence would prove the 
" divinity " of Jesus or of any other son of a woyaan ; ard it need hardly 
be said that, to be of any evidential value, his " four testimonies to the 
divinity of Christ " should each be strong enough to prove the divinity, 
or he is trying to make an unbreakable chain out of four broken links — 
a common Christian evidence contrivance. 

When, formerly, men took the preacher's word for both the prophecies 
and their fulfilment, and saw no reason to doubt the actuality of miracles, 
it was easy to convince them of the divinity of Jesus, or Buddha, or Joss. 
Any preacher's rope of sand was strong enough for their stunted brains. 
And men who will accept the Canon's four testimonies as involving any- 
thing supernatural or "divine" will be equally ready to accept the next 
similar set when these are exploded. The sligl>test intelligent considera- 
tion, however, will show their utterly untenable character. 

Numberless men in both ancient and modern times have claimed to be 
** the Messiah." We nineteenth centaryites have had at least a score of 
Mahdis, besides a multitude of Piggotts and Teeds^ in the Eastern and 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 73 

Western worlds, without mentioning such representatives of divinity as 
Blavatsky and Eddy, Dowie and Booth, etc.; and of those which one has 
failed to announce his or her message in an authoritative manner? 

Who shall say that any one of these is more sinful than Jesus ? If 
Blavatsky sips brandy and smokes tobacco, is that more sinful than 
making wine for a feast and drinking it ? If Teed keeps a harem, is that 
more sinful than consorting with Magdalens ? If Piggott drives to his 
temple in a coach with a pair of high-steppers, is he more sinful than he 
who rode into Jerusalem on " an ass and the foal of an ass?" 

Why should ** divine " persons want to ride on horseback or assback 
or in carriages? Do they become tired, like common mortals? If so, 
wherein lies their divinity ? Is it to prove their divinity ? Would they 
be less divine if they walked? Certainly, if Apollo, instead of riding on 
the sun, had driven into Athens on the back of a donkey, he might not 
have secured many followers. But who can tell ? 

And if all mankind are guilty of ** original sin," was not Jesus, on his 
human side, as much a sinner as any other son of Adam ? Or is he to 
be a man now and a god then — human and divine alternately, a sort of 
divinity sandwich or layer-cake — to suit the needs of the apologist ? 

Then, finally, we are asked to accept " the impression he produced 
upon his generation " as evidence of his divinity ! Surely Canon Stokes 
has 8lip|)ed a cog here. The chief Christian difficulty is to prove that 
Jesus ever lived, let alone any question as to " the impression he pro- 
duced upon his generation." Certain it is that nothing reliable can be 
brought forward to prove that Jesus himself exercised any influence of 
importance. Utterly unknown outside of Palestine, even the Gospels — 
our only source of information — do not assert that he did more than 
collect a few crowds, like Wesley or Whitfield. Mrs. Eddy has had an 
immensely greater influence upon the world than had Jesus in his gene- 
ration ; and Joseph Smith's following has to-day a far better prospect of 
becoming a controlling force in United States politics than the following 
of Jesus had of capturing the Roman world for more than three cen- 
turies, as far as present knowledge enables us to judge. 

If Jesus really lives and reigns, it is a pity he does not inspire his 
pulpit defenders with some arguments that might appeal to intelligent 
men, even if it be impossible for him to submit any facts that would 
influence us. Compared with Eddyites, Canon Stokes may appear to be 
j-ensible; liis arguments, however, are not a whit more logical than the 
utterances of his more noisy and more illiterate fellow-preachers. 



74 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



FAKE MESSAGES FEOM THE DEAD. 
A telegram fiom London tells us of the failure of an " experiment" 
made by the Psychical Research Society in the above line : 

" Failure of extraordinary efforts to establish communication between the living 
and the dead is frankly recorded in the current issue of the Journal of the Psychical 
Research Society. The late Frederick Myers some years before his death handed a 
sealed envelope to Sir Oliver Lodge, with the intention of communicating the contents 
to Sir Oliver beyond the grave. Sir Oliver placed the envelope in a bank and awaited 
events. 

" Some time after Mr. Myers' death, a woman developed a gift of automatic writing 
and alleged she had received a communication from the dead man giving the con- 
tents of the envelope. Sir Oliver Lodge then decided to open the envelope, and a 
meeting of the members of the Council was called. The automatic writer first 
recorded the message she alleged she had received from the supposed spirit of Myers. 
Then the envelope was opened, but it was found there was no resemblance between 
the actual contents and the alleged communication through the medium." 

No one outside of a Spiritalistic or a Theosophical society would have 
expected the " experiment " to turn out otherwise than it did, and it is 
surprising that Sir Oliver allowed his envelope to be opened at all, for, 
judging from all similar " co.nmunications" that we have seen, the work 
of the medium must have contained internal witness to its falsity. 

Now, however, that the fated envelope has been opened and its con- 
tents have become known, no doubt numbers of mediums — who c^n, of 
course, easily be proved to have had no means of finding out what was 
in Mr. Myers' envelope — will be receiving messages from the dead man 
more or less resembling it. Possibly ^ very sensitive medium may at 
length secure a verbatim copy : and possibly, also, innumerable dupes 
will joyfully accept the evidence of these fakers as proof that they them- 
selves will be all alive when they are dead and buried. 

We need not dogmatize on this matter. All we are waiting for is that 
one little bit of fact that Ingersoll used to ask for ; and the longer we 
live the less likely to reach us seems that one little bit of fact. If there 
ever was a case, however, in which there should have been a message 
from the dead, this was the case. Myers was one of the most prominent 
Spiritualists in the world, and if his shade cannot find means to com- 
municate with his old friends, then it must be " all day and good-by " 
for less developed spirits. Still, who dares to prophesy ? 

Our friend Mad Murdock had a vision lately of a journey to heaven. 
The scene was all so bright and clear and beautiful and real that to-day, 
standing in the broad daylight with the thermometer marking 10 below 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 75 

zero, he does not like to swear that the journey was not a real one. 
Who shall presume to deny its reality ? 

One of the strangest features of these Theosophical and Spiritualistic 
claims is the fact that, if they were true, not only would the offices of 
detective and judge soon hecome unnecessary, but social life would be 
impossible. The seven seals would be broken and the day of judgment 
would be here. 

Then look at the comical aspect of the matter. You may imagine the 
condition of things that would arise if, sitting beside a ladv friend with 
a patent X-ray apparatus in your pocket, you could examine, not only 
her clothing, but her whole body even to the marrow of her bones ! But 
this would be nothing to what would happen if you could read her mind. 
Fancy a merchant receiving a telepathic message from a friend who had 
the power of reading the mind oi a merchant who had goods to sell ! 
Fancy Admiral Rojestvensky being able to read Admiral Togo's mind ! 
And if Oyama could know Kuropatkin's designs, what would become of 
the spy and the balloon and the reconnaissance enforce ? What, indeed, 
would become of the whole human outfit ? 

Yet most preachers of the " occult sciences '* treat it as simply a 
matter of common know^ledge that " telepathy " and " mind-reading " 
are as well-established facts as the production of electric power ! 

EDUCATION IN WALES. 

There seems every probability that under the provisions of the British 
Education Act of 1902 the Welsh language will become the leading lan- 
guage of the Welsh schools. The Act authorizes the formation of a 
Council of Education for Wales, with authority to control education 
largely independent of the London Board, and the upshot will probably 
be that the supervision of the latter body will become of a merely per- 
functory character. At a recent special meeting of the County Council 
of Carnarvon, Mr. Lloyd George, M.P., moved to create a Welsh Council 
of Education under the Act; and immediately afterwards the Education 
Committee for the county met and adopted some drastic elianges in the 
character of the school education. The Welsh language is to be substi- 
tuted for English entirely in the lowest grades, both languages being 
taught side by side in the higher grades. The scheme says : *' English 
is to be taught in the direct method, like any other foreign lanpuae/e / " 

Well, we suppose our Welsh friends know their own business best ; 
and certainly, not being Welsh — at least only in a very distant degree — 
we can hardly appreciate the '* patriotism," or whatever otlier sentiment 
it may be, that induces these Welsh enthusiasts to hark back to raedi- 



76 SECULAK THOUGHT. 



aeval times. It is lui fortunate that in this case, as in most others in 
educational matters, the real sufferers — the children — can have no choice 
in the matter. That they should be deprived of all the advantages of a 
thorough knowledge of the language whicli must be of the greatest value 
to them both commercially and aesthetically, or only get such a smatter- 
ing of it as boys get of Latin or German in an English school, is a mis- 
fortune that no doubt many of them will live bitterly to regret. They 
will, however, like many others, have to begin their real education after 
they leave school. 

It may be that the present movement has its impulse in the idea that 
Welsh was the original Garden of Eden language. A similar idea pre- 
vails also in regard to the Basque, Gaelic, Hebrew, and other languages. 
Why not preserve them all, as well as Hottentot and Timbuctoo dialects ? 

TO ABOLISH WAK— ABOLISH CHEISTIANITY. 

In his address of welcome to the International Peace Congress re- 
cently, Secretary Hay said he agreed with Tolstoi that religion was the 
remedy for war. In view of the world's history, it seems a strange as- 
sertion to make. Religion has been the cause of more wars than all 
other causes combined. Of course, the Secretary meant the Christian 
religion, and yet to-day the most aggressively warlike nations of the 
world are so-called Christian nations. These are the nations that burden 
themselves with armies of soldiery and expend millions upon millions of 
money to create naval monsters of destruction, largely as a matter of 
defence against each other. 

Certainly, looking to the past and the present condition of affairs, and 
the warlike attitude of Christian nations, it does not seem sane and rea- 
sonable to claim that the Christian religion is the remedy for war. 

With far greater reason could the claim be made for Buddhism as the 
religion of peace. 

In view of the church's bloody history, it would almost, if not quite, 
seem that the proper and direct way to abolish war would be to abolish 
the Christian religion. — Progressive Thinker, 

CHRISTIANITY'S FOUR PRIVILEGED MIRACLES. 

The Rev. Prebendary Whit worth, in an article in the Nineteenth Ccn- 
tnn/, gives up all the Bible miracles except four — the Virgin Birth, the 
Incarnation, the Resurrection, and the Ascension. Of these he says : 
" If all the miracles, with the exception of the privileged four, were blotted 
out of the gospel records, Christianity would still remain v ha' it is ; but 
if belief in the Incarnation and in the Resurrection were surrendered, 
Christianity would be overthrown." So that, while Goldwin Smith thinks 
that '* vital Christianity" can get along without any miracles, Mr. Whit- 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 77 

worth thinks it would he overthrown if men ceased to helie%'e that the 
Infinite Supreme Ruler of the Universe " came down" and was miracu- 
lously horn of a virgin ; that he lived for thirty years as an ordinary 
man ; that he was then crucified, died, was huried, and went to hell ; 
that he Rose From the Dead and Ascended to Heaven, where he sitteth 
at the right hand of — himself, etc. ; from w^hich coign of vantage he now 
directs human affairs with such wisdom and success that, while Jap and 
Russ are engaged in deadly combat, covering Manchuria with bleaching 
skeletons and filling Japan and Russia with widows and orphans, the 
Rev. Prebendary Whitworth draws a handsome salary for preaching and 
])rofe8sing to believe a lot of rubbish that a baboon might scout. In 
our view, a man who will accept one miracle and thinks he has reason 
to reject all others, is little short of a drivelling idiot or a fraud. 



Cbriet an& Cbriatianiti^* 



'LETTER TO A CLERGYMAN BY B. F. UNDERWOOD. 

Rev. H. H. B . My Dear Sir : In reply to your kind letter, I have to 

say that my views as to Christ and Christianity are unchanged. 

Your statements are my reason and excuse for propounding to you a few 
questions. Are you willing to judge the Bible by the same rules of historical 
criticism by which you judge other ancient works? 

When you read Herodotus, Xenophon, Livy, or Tacitus, do you not, whi'e 
accepting their common narratives, reject as fabulous and false every statement 
that is plainly of a miraculous character? And knowing the tendency to 
exaggeration in ancient times, do you not make allowance for it, even when you 
read of events which, although possible in the order of nature, are of a very ex- 
ceptional or extraordinary character ? 

Why shouid not the gospels be read in the same way ? Because you believe 
on the testimony of Livy that Rome was governed by consuls, do you accept as 
correct the statement of the same author respecting the gap appearing in the 
Roman forum, and suddenly closing when the gods were appeased by the sacri- 
fice of Curtius? 

Because it is not improbable that an individual named Jesus o*ice lived and 
was put to death, -does it follow that we must believe he was born miraculously, 
rose from the dead, and appeared to his disciples ? 

Thousands of persons now living testify that they see and talk with departed 
spirits — their former friends and acquaintances on earth. You do not believe 
these statements. You think the parties dishonest or deceived. 

How can you reject the testimony of so large a number of living men and 
women, including several of your most respectable neighbors, when they say 



78 SECULAE THOUGHT. 



they see their deceased friends, and yet believe that a man rose from the dead 
and appeared bodily to his acquaintances, 1800 years ago, when your only proof 
is the statement of a few obscure individuals of whom you know nothing? 

Would you believe a man if he claimed to write by divine inspiration now ? 
If you knew him to be a man of intelligence, and he possessed a reputation for 
veracity, would you believe his claim ? Evidently not. Then why do you 
believe that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John wrote by divine inspiration ? 

Would you believe now that a married woman was the mother of a child that 
had no earihly father, simply on the statement of the husband that he was not 
the father, and that he had dreamed its existence was due to the agency of 
supernatural power ? 

If not, why believe in the miraculous origin of Jesus, on the statement of some 
old writers who tell us that Joseph dreamed his wife's pregnancy was the result 
of divine interposition ? 

Would you believe the physical resurrection of an individual, to-day, on the 
testimony of a number of intelligent and honest men? Would you not believe 
rather that there was some illusion or deception in the matter? 

Why believe that Jesus rose physically from the dead, when you have only 
the statements of some unknown individuals, especially when none of them 
claim that they saw him come out of the sepulchre, when none of them (with 
one exception, if the last chapter of John be genuine, contrary to the opinion of 
the best biblical scholars) claim to have seen him in the flesh after his death, 
and when they wrote in an age and among people notorious for superstitions — 
for belief in miraculous births and the reappearance of the dead— and when, too, 
the authors evidently wrote many years after the date of the alleged event ? 

If the miracles of the New Testament were performed, and their object was to 
furnish evidence of the divine character and mission of Jesus, both to that and 
succeeding generations, why were they not ^brought before critical and discrimi- 
nating minds, before men capable of judging as to their character, and who were 
writing history for posterity ? 

Is it not very strange that neither Philo-Judaes, who lived in the time of 
Jesus, nor Josephus, who lived a generation later, make any allusion to the 
alleged miracles of Jesus, especially when each gives a tediously minute account 
of the events of those days ? And why is no mention of those miracles made by 
the Roman historians, who likewise gave us accounts of their times, in which the 
wonderful events recorded in the New Testament are said to have occurred ? 

If the profane writers of the first centuries did mention any of the alleged 
miracles of Jesus, why were not some of those writers quoted by the fathers of 
the following centuries in their disputes with the pagans, who denied the super- 
natural character of Jesus ? 

Is not the fact that the " Christian Fathers " forged and fabricated evidence by 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 79 



interpolating spurious passages into the works of Josephus, Phlegon, and other 
writers, and by manufacturing such evidence as the correspondence between 
Christ and Abgarus, Paul and Seneca, pretty good proof that no genuine evidence 
could be found ? 

Is not the historical silence of Jewish and pagan authors of the first and 
second centuries respecting the pretended miracles of Christ utterly inexplicable 
upon the supposition- that the miracles actually occurred, and were performed 
before intelligent men ? 

Is not the fact that Christians of the fourth, fifth and succeeding centuries 
destroyed the infidel writings that appeared, including those of Celsus, Porphyry 
and Julian presumptive proof that they contained facts and arguments which 
were damaging to the claim of Christianity ? 

If an individual had a case in a court of law, and it were found he had 
destroyed documentary evidence touching his claim, would there not be reason 
for the belief that the evidence, if it could be recovered, would be likely to in- 
validate or very much modify the claim ? You can apply the illustration. . 

By giving some thought to these questions, and by answering the same when 
convenient for you to do so, you will oblige, Yours truly, 

B, F. Underwood. 
— Pros[ressive Thinker, 



THE DAILY GRIND. 



My son, when you speak of the work you do, there's something to keep in mind ; 
No matter how little it pleases you, don't call it "the daily grind." 
Don't tell of the tasks that you dislike, nor grumble at sorry fate — 
Tliere never was work set to our hands that we had a right to hate ; 
It isn't the work ; it isn't the hire ; nor toiling from sun to sun 
That counts in the eyes of them who see— it's " how is the labor done ? " 
As soon as you say it's a daily grind, that moment you hate your work, 
That moment the imp of indolence shows you how you well may shirk ; 
That moment you lose all your good intent ; that moment you ought to quit, 
For the work that you do is a friend to you while you are a friend to it. 
And once you have called it a slavish task and named it " the daily grind," 
Your work is a snare that will catch your feet and cause you to fall behind. 
My son, when you work you must finish your task ; you must finish that task alone; 
And work that is done with a friendly hand will change to a stepping-stone. 
Will carry you over the l3arring stream or out of the clinging slough, 
And lift you to where you may put your hand on the work that you want to do, 
it will help you along to the heights you seek, will bring you unto your goal — 
Hut when you declare it's "the daily grind," it will grind you both heart and soul. 
— Evening Telegram. \V. D. N. 



80 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



IRevcrence for ''Sacrc&'' ^binga. 

:o: 

BY GEORGE ALLEN WHITE. 

:o: 

in. 

Superstition still prevails. We are not yet perfect. Why should I 
reverence the worship of stuffed snakes or wooden dolls ? A large room 
of the British Museum is filled with gods and images from all parts of 
the world. Why should I take off my hat to them ? Why should I hold, 
as sacred, customs like those of refraining from meat on Friday, frogs' 
legs on Tuesday, or pate de foie gras on Sunday ; tossing an apple-peel- 
ing over the head to determine a future spouse, or for the same purpose 
putting a four-leaved clover in the shoe before taking a stroll ; holding 
a wedding-ring of gold to be a cure for sties ; or taking care, as in Scot- 
land, not to don a torn garment or be late to breakfast on New Year's 
day ? Why should 1 render homage to the superstition of the Filipinos, 
who are convinced that there exists a monstrous vampire, the Penangga- 
lon, who must be propitiated, and who greatly fear the Polong, a female 
manikin supposed to have power to wreak dire disaster ? 

[s there any valid reason why I shouJd " reverence " the chimeras of 
those who quake in alarm and beat tom-toms at times of eclipse ; who 
cast quantities of food and raiment, or even human victims, on graves 
of the dead ; who worship candles or soap-suds ; who stand in awe of 
ghosts, fairies, or genii and get pleasure out of believing in them ; who 
through a process of cannibalism-by-proxy succeed in devouring im- 
mense quantities of some body who has " saved " them — in other words, 
bread and wine? Why should I stifle my levity when I think of the 
many religions of the outside world, admitted to be false and prepos- 
terous by nearly every person in this country ? 

To illustrate. A writer, relating an experience in India, says : 

" A learned Brahman, reading a sacred poem to Sir William fones, omitted the 
portions relating to Brahma because it was profanation to make them known to any- 
pne but priests, and the sincerity of his feelings was evidenced by his frequent inter- 
ruptions of tears. It shocks a Brahman to hear a foreigner utter one of their prayers 
or sacred poems. An English gentleman had learned the Gayatree in Sanscrit, and 
began to repeat it in the presence of a Brahman, not being in the slightest degree 
aware of doing harm. The priest instantly stopped his ears with his hands and with 
horror rushed from the room." 

This is fetishistic superstition of the worst type, more ridiculous and 
astonishing because it occurs among cultured men. 

The weaker and more secular superstitions prevalent among us are, of 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 81 



course, not felt to be so worthy of reverence as those more deeply reli- 
gious ones ** ventilated " within the church. But they partake of the 
same character. They originated in wonder, fear, and falsehood — the 
substratum of every religion ; and that, in the growth of our race, man 
has been losing his fear and substituting for it the prospective favors to 
be had of the supreme power, indicates merely that he is becoming more 
selfish and more conceited, and refuses longer to picture a god capable 
of designing injury to him, the great and good Homo. 

Many things once reverenced are scouted to-day by the church itself. { 
The fiat earth ; the world as the centre of the universe, and man as the \ 
central figure in the great panorama; witches and a personal devil or 
devils ; the lake of sulphur and fire in the infernal regions, and golden 
streets with pearl trimmings in Paradise — these are among the outworn 
conceptions which now excite the ridicule of intelHgent Christians. And- 
yet for ages these things w^ere reverently dandled by the elect. 

Brother John Jasper, of Virginia, is laughed to scorn, and the Salva-- 
tion Army, good though it is in some respects, has to meet the jibes and 
ridicule of the more cultured Christians ; and if it is right to ridicule at 
this time the reverently nurtured humbugs of 1600, why was it not right 
then ? If it will be right for the average intellect of the more advanced 
twenty-first century to ridicule the venerated superstitions of 1905, why 
is it not right for the isolated advanced intellect to do it now, when it is 
most needed ? 

While exacting rigid deference towards its own faith, Christianity has 
never hesitated to assail with ridicule and slander the professors of every 
other faith. Nor has it stopped there. Look back along the carmine 
trail of history, and what do we see ? That Christianity did not simply 
neglect to reverence the sacred which found lodgment in rival religions, 
but did not so much as respect it — that, in fact, Christianity actually 
assailed opponents, and that, too, with fire and sword. Divines used to 
discuss whether or not to tear out the tongue of victims, in order that 
dying irreverence and blasphemy might not be heard by the delicate 
ears of the murderers. 

When not torturing and killing, ridicule has been allowed full swing 
by the church. Paganism was ridiculed by the early Christians ; the 
Moslem was ridiculed by the mediaeval hierarchy, and finally was made 
the object of bloody crusades. Protestantism was ridiculed by Catholi- 
cism, and rice versa, Erasmus and Luther being especially ai)t in the 
art. The rites of the North American Indians were ridiculed by our 
pioneer ancestors, and the Millerites of the last century kept their Chris- 
tian neighbors in roars of laughter. Laugh ad libitum over what you do 
not yourself believe in, but do not let anyone else laugh at your beliefs, 
seems to have been the Christian motto. 

When the Ark of the Israelites was captured by the Philistines, they 
took it to Ashdod and placed it in a temple beside their own god Dagon. 
The first night Dagon was tumbled to the ground through the influeuce 



82 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



of this ark, and on the succeeding night this was repeated, with the ad- 
ditional violence of Dagon's hands being cut off. Thus we find that the 
Lord himself set a very poor example in the " reverence" line by bring- 
ing into contempt the revered god of the Philistines. He had said also, 
frequentl}^ that no other gods should be reverenced but him ; that to 
diim and him alone should be burned all the incense of this world. 

Then there is the case of Elijah and Baal. At the famous test ar- 
ranged by the prophet, the worshippers of Baal, notwithstanding that 
their sincerity was so great as to lead them to maim themselves with 
knives, were openly ridiculed by Elijah, who suggested that possibly 
their god was on a journey or sleeping somewhere. Throughout the 
whole day this man of God mocked them, displaying not the slightest 
reverence for sacred feelings and sacred things. In the end, after his 
own successful appeal to Jehovah, he managed to get together four hun- 
dred prophets of poor old Baal and to slay them, — showing them to 
have differed in many points from our modern clergy, concerning whom 
it may be said that it is more than doubtful if they would content so 
readily to abandon this vale of tears. 

Isaiah is represented at one place in the Bible (Isa. 44 : 16, 17) as thus 
ridiculing the idolator who made fire and God out of the same stick : 

" He burneth part thereof in the fire ; with part thereof he eateth flesh ; he roasteth 
roast, and is satisfied ; yea, he warmeth himself, and saith. Aha, I am warm, I have 
seen the fire ; and the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image ; he 
falleth down unto it, apd worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Dehver me, 
for thou art my god." 

Mosheim says (Eccl. Hist. vol. i. 30), after speaking of the customary 
tolerant lenity of the Romans : 

" A principal reason of the severity with which the Romans persecuted the Chris- 
tians, notwithstanding these considerations, seems to have been the abhorrence and 
contempt felt by the latter for the religion of the Empire, which was so intimately 
connected with the form, and indeed with the very essence of its political constitu- 
tion ; for, though the Romans gave an unlimited toleration to all religions which had 
nothing in their tenets dangerous to the commonwealth, yet they would not permit 
that of their ancestors, which was established by the laws of the land, to be turned 
into derision, nor the people to be drawn away from their attachment to it. These, 
however,were the two things with which the Christians were charged, and that justly, 
though to their honor. They dared to ridicule the absurdities of the Pagan supersti- 
tions, and they were ardent and assiduous in gaining proselytes to the truth." 

To be co)iduded. 



In opinions, look not always back : 

Your wake is nothing, mind the coming track. 

Leave what you've done for what you have to do ; 

Don't be " coi^istent," but be simply true. -O. W. Holmes. 



SECULAK THOUGHT. 88 



•fcovo II XPtHoult) Hmenb tbe (5ol&en IRule* 



BY THE LATE COL. R. G. INGERSOLL. 

:o: 

Peace on earth, good will to men ! Whit effect has thai saying had upon the 
eaith ? 

If we judge by the history of human beings since the celestial choir uttered 
the words •' Peace on earth, good will to men," it is hard to believe that they 
have had any particular effect. These words are supposed to have been said by 
angels to the shepherds in commemoration of the birth of Christ. Now, if the 
life of Christ, as it appears in the New Testament, had been in accordance with- 
those words, the effect might have been different ; but Christ himself, according 
to the New Testament, said : " I come not to bring pt?ace, but a sword. I come 
to set father against son and mother against daughter." P>om this it would 
appear that the celestial choir, in commemoration of his birth, sang the wrong 
hymn. 

The New Testament is a mixture of the generous and the malicious ; of the 
benevolent and malevolent. Side by side with this doctrine of peace on earth, 
good will to men, is found the dogma of eternal pain, so that the message of. 
good will seems to come from a being who intends to take eternal revenge. Oa 
account of this frightful dogma, there was no peace on earth, and there was but 
little good will toward men. People who said " Peace on earth," waged war 
against all who differed from them in belief. The people who said " Good will 
to men," founded inquisitions, invented and used instruments of torture. 

In my judgment, the effect of what is called Christianity has been bad. When 
the church had power there was no liberty in Christendom, and there was no 
progress. Science was detested by the Church, and men who were endeavoring 
to ascertain the facts in nature were denounced as blasphemers and infidels. 
For many centuries there was nothing but hypocrisy, ignorance, fear, cunning, 
persecution and slavery. Of course there were many who honestly believed the 
creed ; many who sincerely worshipped the being they called God ; many who> 
denied themselves and inflicted tortures upon themselves, thinking that in that 
way they could secure eternal happiness in another world ; but the general effect 
of the creed has been bad. 

Since the words, " Peace on earth, good will to men," are supposed to have 
been uttered Christendom has been filled with war, and people called Christians 
are the most warlike of the world. Christians rvow have armies amounting to 
several millions of men They have hundreds of iron-clad monsters filled with 
missiles of death floating from port to port, ready to destroy and kill. Every 
Christian nation is guarded by fortifications to prevent other Christians from 
cutting their throats. The Gatling and Maxim guns, the needle rifles, the Krupp 



84 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

cannon, the dynamite shells, have all been invented by the people who said 
"Peace on earth, good will to men." 

The world is not governed by a remark. A paragraph or two does not fix the 
condition or determine the destiny of a nation. Man is governed and nations 
are governed by environment, by countless wants. Everywhere there is compe- 
tition ; that is to say, war. This war is universal. Every kind of plant fights for 
soil and sunshine. Every animal is fighting for food to supply its wants, to 
gratify its passions. Man is no exception, and through all the dead centuries 
men have been shedding the blood of each other. They will continue to do so 
,until the human brain has developed to that degree that right makes might 
instead of might making right. When the reason becomes superior to the 
passions we will be civilized. Then there will be peace on earth. Then there 
will be good will to men, but not before. Man does not need preaching ; he 
needs teaching. He does not require faith, but he is in great need of facts. So 
I think that good sayings, fine paragraphs, have done but little toward civilizing 
the human race. 

Has " Peace on earth, good will to men," any parallel in ancient history ? 
YES. It is said that at the birth of Buddha there was celestial music and there 
was a heavenly choir, and this choir sang substantially the same words. They 
proclaimed peace, they proclaimed salvation to the human race and universal 
delivery from ignorance and evil. Substantially the same happened — or is said 
to have happened— at the birth of many of the sun-gods. Buddha was a sun- 
god, so were Krishna and Apollo and Hercules, Samson, Mithra, Hermes and 
many others. 

The curious thing about the sun-gods is that they all have the same biography. 
Each sun-god had a god for a father and a virgin for a mother. Each was born 
in a humble place, in a roadside inn, under a tree or in a cave, and tyrants sought 
to kill each of these babes. Every one fasted for forty days ; every one met 
with a violent death, and every one rose from the dead. Another fact — every 
one was born on Christmas, at the winter solstice. 

Samson was a sun-god. His strength was in his hair; that is to say, in his 
,bjams. Dc^lilah was the shadow, the darkness, and when Samson was shorn of 
his beams he became weak. Afterwards, he rose above his enemies, as the days 
lengthened. The Hebrews changed this myth into the biography of a giant. 

As a matter of fact, the life of Christ is an old biography with a new name. 
Christ was not a man, hut a myth ; not a life, but a legend. It is the old story 
of the war between darkness and light, between the power of good and the power 
cf evil. The proclamations made at the birth of the sun-gods that man was to 
be redeemed, to be delivered from evil — that there was to be peace — seem to 
have had but little eflfect upon the history of the human race. 

Why was Christ to be heralded with this message ? Because the message was 



SECULAK THOUGHT. 85 

copied from an older biography. You see, there never was but one rehgion. 
There have been modifications and variations ; that is to say, the leaves and the 
branches have been different, but the trunk has always been the same. Probably 
the first religion that was organized was the worship of the sun. The sun was 
the Sky-Father, the All-Seeing, and, so far as the savages understood, the probable 
author of all that was good. On the other hand, darkness was evil, and we now 
find that in our own religion, called Christianity, there is nothing original. All 
the doctrines are old ; all the symbols are ancient ; all the ceremonies are 
mouldy with antiquity. The cross was used thousands of years before Christ 
was born. Baptism is thousands of years older than the Baptists. So the tree 
of life grew in India and China and in Central America thousands of years 
before the Garden of Eden was planted. So the doctrine of the fall of man and 
the atonement are far older than Adam and Eve. So the eucharist came from 
the Pagans. I'hey used to make little cakes of wheat and say, " This is the 
flesh of the goddess Ceres." Then they drank wine and said, *' This is the 
blood of our god Bacchus." Bacchus was a sun-god. In other words, there is 
nothing original in Christianity. Salvation by belief is thousands and thousands 
of years older than the Christian religion. 

How much of the message " Peace on earth, good will to men," was intended 
for women, or was the entire message for men only ? I suppose that the word 
" men " includes women ; that is to say, the human race. Of course I have no 
idea that the heavenly choir sang any song. I have no idea that there was any 
heavenly choir. Neither do I believe that there were any shepherds or that any 
miraculous babe was born in Bethlehem. The whole thing is simply a legend 
— a myth. Some of it is good, some of it beautiful, some of it absurd and cruel. 

There are many things in the New Testament that I like. " Blessed are the 
merciful, for they shall obtain mercy." That is beautiful. Forgive others and 
God will forgive you. That is good sense. So what is called the Golden Rule is 
good. I think it might have been a little better, but still it is good. " Do unto 
others as you would that others should do unto you." I do not know that we 
can carry that out. For instance, if I were in prison I would like to have some- 
body to help me to escape. Ought I to help others to escape ? Maybe the 
Golden Rule would be better if it was " Do unto others as you honestly believe 
others should do unto you." Of course, this rule has been known for many, 
many centuries. Christ, not contented with that, went even further. He taught 
us to love our enemies and to return good for evil. There is no philosophy in that. 

One of the disciples of Confucius asked him what he thought of the doctrine 
that we should return benefits for injuries. Confucius replied, *• If you return 
benefits for injuries, what do you propose to return for benefits ? " My doctrine 
is this : " For benefits return benefits ; for injuries return justice." Now, that 
seems to me to be good, sound, sane, common sense. 



86 SECULAE THOUGHT. 

All these fine sayings are intended for women — that is to say, for all human 
beings, for all who have the intelligence to {)erceive, to understand. While I do 
not believe shat these disconnected sayings have controlled the course of human 
events, still I believe that a good thought has never quite been lost. Every 
philosophic utterance bears fruit. Every good, kind, generous sentiment has its 
influence. Still, it is better to do a good thing than simply to say one, and a 
noble life is more convincing than any possible form of speech. 



Zhc Zcvm ''Xaw0 of mature/' 

BY CHARLES CATTELL. 

:o: 

The phrase " laws of nature " has long been commonly met with in [)ooks and 
periodicals of all sorts, but what the words mean in the mind of the writer is 
not always obvious. It is not here attempted so show what the laws of nature 
are, but simply the meaning that should always be attached to a form of words. 
" Law," as applied to nature, is a compendious formula to express the mode in 
which things act and are acted upon, as demonstrated and verified by endless 
observations and experiments. 

The idea of " law " underlying much of what we read is, that it resembles 
rules and regulations prescribed by the supreme power of State, whether king, 
kaiser, or president ; that is, that the regulations or laws of phenomena are made 
and put in force by a king of the universe. And not only so, but that both, ac- 
cording to the same view, can be ignored alike, with penalties attached to non- 
compliance with the regulations. Thus, we get in the writings of eminent 
persons references to " disobedience," infringement," '* breaking," and " acting 
contrary to the laws of nature ; " as though they resembled the written or printed 
acts of parliament or municipal by-laws, which, in themselves, have no power 
over anything. Just as though man could as easily avoid the forces of nature as 
he can the instruction to sweep the pavement in front of his house. A man 
falling from a ladder may break his neck, but no natural law is broken ; that 
remains whole, and, in fact, in full operation, as the result of the fall testifies. 

Two difficulties are presented : the conception of human law and the impossi- 
V.ility of avoiding the use of figurative language in describing natural operations. 

G. H. Lewes half a century ago proposed as a way out of this to call the laws 
of na'ure the "Method" of Nature ; a method meaning a path, a way of transit. 
Ihus, *' methods of nature" expressed the paths along which the activities of 
i-aiure travelled to results (phenomena). 

Given the phenomena, we name the process by which they are called forth 
the "way of nature." His illustrations are: A spark will ignite dry gunpowder ; 
the forces travel to an issue (explosion) ; but if we throw water on the powder, 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 87 

that path is blocked and another issue is reached. Fire raises the temperature of 
water, yet if you pour water into a red-hot crucible containing liquid sulphuric 
acid, the temperature of the water is not raised ; nay, it is lowered to freezing 
point. Instead of steam, you get ice. But there is no " contradiction," no law is 
'• broken." We add nothing to Nature's actions themselves by declaring such 
and such the methods of nature. " What we call ' Laws ' are nothing but the 
paths or methods along which the forces of nature move." 

This is all very good, as explanation, but to adopt the new terms would involve 
the re-writing of all our treatises on science ; hence it has not been adopted. 
But really all that is necessary is, that we should always bear in mind what the 
phrase " laws of nature " means when properly understood. 

Observed changes in phenomena are tabulated and named " laws of phe- 
nomena," and are interminable. At certain points water boils or freezes ; that 
is, under certain conditions ; but it is not " law " that boils the kettle or covers 
the pool with ice. 

All that is meant by natural law or uniformity of nature's movements is, that if 
the same conditions recur the same results will follow ; and exactly so far as 
these conditions are repeated the result will also be repeated. Throughout the 
earth and the heavens observation reports that the same or similar causes are 
followed by the same or similar effects. I have said that changes are intermin- 
able, so are causes and effects, the names applied to them ; hence, in science a 
first or last cause is unknown. Neither the word "cause " nor "effect" has a 
meaning separately considered ; they are relative terms. 

George Combe first arrested my attention by stating that natural law was only 
the mind's perception of regularity, and was not like human law, arbitrary and 
alterable ; and that it was an error to describe it as a Cause. Yet he calls it 
God's Secular Providence, and speaks of pre-ordained consequences attached ta 
their operations, of " infringements " and "flagrant infractions " of natural laws 
Nothing was more common, in his time and long afteiwards, than to describe 
natural laws of co-existence and succession of causes and sequences as being the 
metho is by which God " governs " the world, just as^ an earthly potentate is 
said to govern his subjects. 

Some advanced minds described law as a mysterious subtle entity which ruled 
certain known operations familiar to all of us, leaving a wide margin for miracles 
or the operation of divine causes beyond the province of science. Science was 
only concerned with secondary causes, which implied more than one kind of 
causes. 

In our time, the revelations of the telescope, the microscope, and the spectro- 
scope assure us that the same kinds of matter and the same laws are present 
everywhere within the range of human investigation. 

I have been led to revert to this q^uestion by reading the sixpenny reprint of 



88 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

an admirable book, " Modern Science and Modern Thought," by the late 
Samuel Laing. Generally speaking, Laing uses language which simply expresses 
what is known of Nature and its movements as seen under all known conditions, 
mental, moral and physical. He maintains that all movement implies the exist- 
ence of energy ; that an unbroken sequence prevails universally throughout space 
and time ; and that it is as nearly certain as anything can be that what is known 
as " the law of gravity," which is the foundation of "the laws of nature," desig- 
nates an original condition of matter. 

Yet, on a few occasions, he reminds us of the ancient orator, to whom man 
was not a two legged or a reasonable animal, but a curious work of an almighty 
creator, framed after his own image, endued with reason, and born for im- 
mortality. 

Laing, in a flow of eloquence, tells us law " reigns " supreme, and molecules 
" obey " gravity. Following this strain, we might suggest that, if law, like a good 
king, "reigns" impartially, it should have a statue; and if molecules "obey" 
gravity constantly, as a dutiful daughter obeys her mother, they should have gold 
medals. But one could wish that all books were as enlightening and clear in 
statement and as free from ambiguity. 



THE EDITORS CAREER. 
The stork disappears and we look into the cradle and behold a male child. 
After running the gauntlet of measles, mumps, and chickenpox, he enters school. 
At the age of ten he is a red-headed, freckle-faced boy and the terror of the 
neighborhood. At twelve he is an apprentice in a printing office. At eighteen 
he has acquired two cases of long primer and an army press, atid is the editor of 
a country newspaper. At twenty he is married. At thirty he is baldheaded, 
stoop-shouldered, and the father of a large family. At thirty-five he is a corpse 
in a cheap pine cotfin, and as 500 delinquent subscribers file past his bier for the 
last look they are heard to say : " He was a good fellow, but he couldn't save his 
money." — Lockwood Times. 



THE ICE BRIDGE BREAKER. 

(Translated from the original Russian) 
The captain trod the frpzen bridge, whence all but he had fled ; the wind blew 
fiercely o'er the ridge ; the Montcalm's fires burned red. Dense clouds of inky 
smoke arose from out her funnels large. Her cargo ? Jolly Belles and Beaux, 
the captain's special charge. The flames that lit that cabin deck he saw full 
well, I know ; but sternly held himself in check, and would not go below. He 
called once more, " Say, must I go, or perish here instead ? " While Gwyndolene 
just giggled so her Pa's black hair turned red. His whiskers smoked ! He 
pulled the be.l — no, not the one below ; and words escaped [ dare not tell— no, 
rot in print, you know. Yet once more through the tube he called, *' Sa)', fire- 
man, give her steam !" then charged the foe with lusty bawls, but could not 
make a seam. She struck the ice one awful crack, which caused her bells to 
ring ; then, turning back and sailing home, said, " Leave it for the spring ] " — 
J. S R. S., in Montreal Star. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 89 

provincial IRigbte an^ tbe mew fi&ucation (Question, 

:o: 

BY D. S. MACORQUODALE 

:o: 

The press of Ontario have much to say regarding the question of education in 
the new Provinces to be created in the North-west. In Toronto, the Telegram 
and the News have shouted themseives hoarse on all sides of the question. 

The Telegram says '' Hands off Provincial rights ! " to the Dominion Govern- 
ment, and scores the Orange Sentinel for its truckling to the Roman Catholic 
Church ; the Orange Sentinel at the same time saying, " Let the people have 
Separate schools in the new provinces if they want them " in this fashion : 

** But if a Province should not be coerced into establishing Separate schools, 
it follows that it should not be coerced into rejecting Separate schools. Conse- 
quently, the logical position for Ontario electors is to remam silent, and allow 
the measure to become law, if the Territories are satisfied." 

The Toronto News talks all round the question, and, after saying everything 
but the right thing, replies to the Orange Sentinel thus : 

" No one proposes that the new Provinces shall be coerced into rejecting 
Separate schools. There are two proposals : one, that Separate schools shall be 
established by Federal authority ; and the other, that the Provincial authorities 
shall have full liberty to establish, maintain, or abolish Separate schools." 

Such a way to treat the subject is the proper line for a hireling or a literary 
prostitute to take. Keep truckling and juggling, gentlemen ; it is the only way 
lo hang on to a constituency. 

The fact is, the way the Public schools of the Dominion are conducted is the 
best reason possible for the establishment and maintenance of Separate schools. 

In Ontario Public schools it is imperative to open the school with Bible read- 
ing and to offer prayer at one end of the day. Those whose conscientious con- 
victions forbid their taking part need not stay for the prayer. It is now proposed 
that in the new Provinces there shall be no Separate schools, but that religious 
instruction may be given during the last half-hour, and that those whose religious 
convictions forbid shall not be required to remain. 

We ask, is not this an admission that the thing to be taught is not necessary ? 
Would the same liberty to come and go be permitted during a lesson in mathe- 
matics? We ask these doughty editors, who talk and argue in a circle, and who 
are each and all champions of equal rights for all, — would any one of them be 
content to have his children made social outcasts by having to rise and leave the 
school when objectionable religious instruction was given ? As Protestants — 
the name used to mean something — would they be content to be so imposed 
upon? As Protestants, are they willing so to impose upon others ? 

This is not a question of the Standard's views upon matters of religion, but a 
question of the removal from our Public schools of everything that militates 



90 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

against a united people in Canada, free from social sores that are cultivated 
by a clashing of creeds. Our contention is, that the only matters to be taught 
in all our Public schools should be those that can be demonstrated as facts or 
exact sciences, leaving matters of faith to the family circle and its voluntary 
associations. — The Standard ^ East Toronto. 



Ibow fo Cure Coneumption. 

:o: 

Erom our valued contemporary Sus^gestion we copy the following " Rules for 
Consumptives," issued by the New York Board of Health. They will, we think, 
be found to contain many valuable suggesiions for others besides consumptives : 

Never sleep or stay in a hot or close room. 

Keep at least one window open in your bedroom. 

Have a room to yourself, if possible ; if not, be sure to have your own bed. 

Avoid draughts, dampness, dust or smoke ; dust and smoke are worse for 
you than rain and snow. 

When indoors, remain in the sunniest and best ventilated room, preferably 
without carpet. 

Do not wear chest protectors. 

Keep your feet dry and warm. 

Go to bed early and sleep at least eight hours. 

If you have to work, take every chance to rest that you can. 

Take half an hour's rest on the bed before and after the principal meals. 

Avoid eating when bodily or mentally tired, or when in a state of nervous 
excitement. 

Eat plenty of good and wholesome food. Besides your regular meals, take a 
quart of milk daily, from three to six fresh eggs, and plenty of butter and sugar. 

Keep your teeth in good condition ; use a toothbrush after every meal. 

Do not smoke, and do not drink liquor, wine or beer, except by special 
permission. 

Drink plenty of good, pure water between meals. 

Do not talk to anyone about your disease except your physician and nurse. 

Do not kiss anyone upon the mouth. 

.Shave your beard or wear it closely clipped. 

In the treatment of your disease, fresh air, good food, and a proper mode of 
life are more important than medicine. 

Stay in the open air as 1 >ng as you can — if possible, in the park, woods or 
fields. 

Do not be afraid of cold. 

Be hopeful and cheerful, for your disease can be cured, although it will take 
i?ome time. 

Carefully obey your physician's instructions. 



Within the past few weeks, we have come across a case which proves the value 
of many of these rules. It is that of a young letter-carrier in the Toronto Post- 
office. Two years ago he was sent for treatment for phthisis to the Gravenhurst 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 91 

Sanitarium. After a successful treatment lasting some months, he was able to 
resume his duty as a letter-carrier, and to-day enjoys his open-air work the better 
the lower sinks the mercury in the thermometer. The Clerk of the VV^eather 
can threaten him in vain, though he is now on a route that taxes the energies of 
the strongest men ; nor does he, though a somewhat spare man, find it necessary 
to wear a heavy fur overcoat or any extraordinary wraps, even in the cold snaps, 
and we have lately had many days when the thermometer has registered below 
zero, once reaching — 14. The rules in regard to food may need the exercise of 
judgment, as necessarily all such rules must do, in view of the great variety of 
circumstances and constitutions. 



CORRESPONDENCE. 

Editor Secular Thought. 

Dkar Sir, — Realizing the hard position of an editor of a Freethought journal 
in pleasing his subscribers, and knowing the great aversion of Freethinkers to the 
idea of intelligence in the cosmos, I send you the enclosed with the liberty to 
accept or reject as you may deem fit. If a riv«.r is to be crossed, the bridge 
cannot be destroyed, hence your magazine must have the preference. Ideas 
cannot be forced upon people ; there must be a demand. Your position is a 
trying one wi h little to encourage. But a change must come. Rationalists 
must go forward ; superstition must be conquered — and it will be. Use your own 
judgment. Yours truly, 

John Maddock. 



'MS THERE INTELLIGENCE IN MATTER?" 

In your issue of Jan. 28th A. Elvins asks the above question and wants " some 
light " upon the subject. This is the supreme question of this rationalistic age,, 
and upon an answer in the affirmative hangs the fate of all existing religious and 
philosophic theories ; upon such an answer reason is furnished with a new 
premise and a new impetus is given to pure science. By the revelations of 
Nature it can be positively said that there is intelligence in matter. Intelligence 
cannot abide anywhere else, since it must have substance to reside in ; it cannot 
be in nothing. All that is lacking in the Monism of Haeckel to make it pure 
science is the principle of intelligence which resides in matter and is a property 
of it. In the evolution, transmutation and differentiation of forms from the 
lowest cell life up to the highest intelligent man, there are natural, material reve- 
lations of the work of intelligence m specific adaptations to specific ends, just as 
much as there are in the evolutions of the palatial ocean steamship from the 
primitive dug-out canoe, and in the unfoldments revealed in the wonderful 
changes made by intelligent man from the primitive matchlock to the modern 
rapid firing gun. Reason is obliged to admit that ingenious, specific combines 
to specific ends could not have been made by blind, mechanical force or matter, 
any more than the evolution of the ocean steamer could come about by a blind, 
unconscious, unintelligent man. The science of the evolution of forms from, the 



92 SECULAK THOUGHT. 



great cosmic womb has nothing to do with the origin of the cosmos. It does 
not matter whether the cosmos is 6,000 or 6,000,000 years old or whether it is 
eternal, the question of man's relation to it is the only one that can concern the 
Rationalist. John Maddock. 



THE DECAY OF ESTHETIC AND RATIONAL IDEALS. 

Editor Secular Thought. 

De\r Sir,— In your July issue (No 14) I note your comments on the N. Y. 
Sun's article on the " Decay of Christianity," as well as your obituary editorial 
on the demise of the Boston I nvesti orator. There is no doubt about the 
decadence of the ideals of early Christianity. What is to-day taught and preached 
is merely priestianity and Churchianity in their chase after wealth and power. 

But the same spirit is also manifest among rationalists to a very large extent, 
which of course partly accounts for the demise of the Investigator and for the 
strugiiling existence of the remaining rational journals. And if you will investi- 
gate I think you will find that there is less demand for poetry and other idealistic 
literature than there used to be ; the exception is only in trashy novels, for the 
same reason that whisky and tobacco are consumed — that misery and poverty 
love company. 

Now I think that you will agree with me that we, as rationalists, cannot blame 
the public at large for their indifference toward the idealistic side of life, when 
our economic cond tions have come to such an acute stage that with the most of 
us it is getting to be a question of bread —not to mention butter, for the law of 
self-preservation holds good in all ages and with all classes. VVe cannot expect 
very hi^h ideals with the idealists starving and wearing rags, and mostly posing as 
social outcasts also. 

And the end is not yet, there will be a still further slump in idealism ; and in 
the meantime the clergy will bind or rather crush men's minds, while the capital- 
ist binds their bodies, as those two classes work together in the game of playing 
the public for suckers. So look out for breakers ahead ! ! 

Enclosed you will find an order for a Unit of Modern Superstition. It will 
put my tab ahead six months. Upon close study and investigation you will find 
that this is one of the links in the chain that binds the whole human race, eco- 
nomically as well as mentally, and which it is your mission, as journalist and 
educator, to loosen. If you either refuse or fail to do so it is liable to bind you 
yourself as tight as the rest of us — at least economically speaking. 

Tne extra quarter is for yourself, and wishing yoa the compliments of the 
season, I remain, Yours truly, J. S. Odegaard 



" Until I met you,^' Matilda," he murmured in a voice husky with emotion,*' I 
believed that ail women were deceitful ; but when I look into your clear, beauti- 
ful eyes I behold there the very soul of candor and loyalty." 

" George," she exclaimed with enthusiasm, " this is the happiest moment I have 
4vncwn since papa took me to the London oculist." 

*' London oculist ! " 

" Yes, dear ; you never would have known that my left eye was a glass one." 

Then the moon went under a cloud, and Georgie sat dcwn and buried his 
Xac&'in the sofa cushion. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 93 



BOOK NOTICES 



••A NEW PHILOSOPHY." 

This is ihe title of a handsome little volume by Arthur Crane, of Room 447, 
No. 129 Third Street, San Francisco, who in a Publisher's Note says : 

*' Truth is not for sale. No one can buy a copy of this book, and no one can 
have it at a'l unless he receives it as an absolutely free gift andean get a message 
without feeling under any obligation whatever. As long as I can earn enough to 
do so, I will send a copy of this book to every applicant gratis and postage paid. 
I have a little ahead, so that no contributions are needed, and probably never 
will be." 

We are alwajs chary of listening to propositions which come to us on the pro 
mising condition of " No cure no pay ; " but here we have one which, like the 
church's gospel, is " without money and without price." Surely there can be no 
deception here. A whole scheme of brand-new philosophy free for the asking — 
and postage paid ! We have read Mr. Crane's volume, from the first chapter, 
" The Order of the Infinite," in which he gives us this formula : 

Suggestive Table for Illustration Only. 
Voltage of minerals=^say i-iooo volt. 
Voltage of liquids=say 1-500 volt. 
Voltage of telephone electricity=say 2 volts. 
Voltage of electric light electricity==say 200 volts. 
Voltage of Marconigrams=say 30,000 volts. 
Voltage of thought=say 500,000 volts. 
Voltage of pure unselfish love=say infinite voltage. 

to the last page, in which he writes : 

" When we wake up to the Ever-presence there are pleasures for evermore. 
Not the pleasures of sense, but the immortal joys of love. Not the joys of 
getting love, but the joys of loving. Loving is the most sublime joy conceivable. 
Loving IS joy." 

And we feel inclined to accept his offer in his Publisher's Note where he tells 
us that 

"Those needing special advice that they think I could be the means of giving 
them should write me fully and freely, telling me all about themselves. If I then 
feel any special message for them, it will give me supreme pleasure to write it to 
them." 

For, after reading the volume, we really feel that to understand what the author 
is driving at we need some personal communication with him. But perhaps he 
will " feel a message " for us that will save us the trouble. And yet we anticipate 
that some of those who send for the volume an(4 read it through will feel, like 
ourselves, somewhat doubtful about consulting Mr. Crane further, though others 
may feel differently. This is an age of wonders— of miracles, we had almost 
written. By all means, we say, then, send to Mr. Crane fur a volume, and pray 



M SECULAR THOUGHT. 



hard that he may feel a message for you. It may do you some good, and it can 
hardly do you much harm. " Hope tells a flattering tale," and a Crane talk will 
certainly not be so objectionable, if not so powerful, as a dose of julep or a fly 
plaster. 



We have received a number of valuable Dominion Government Blue-books — 
the annual reports of the different Government departments at Ottawa — which 
may be consulted at our office. They include the Statutes passed in 1904, List 
of Members, and Reports of departments of Trade and Commerce, Agriculture, 
Justice, the (Geographic Board, and the Interior. The last is illustrated with a 
large number of full-page photo-engravings. 



MISCELLANEOUS 



THE RURAL PARSON. 

" Oh, I am the cook and the housemaid bold. 

And the nurse of the infants three. 
And the man of-all-work, and the parish clerk, 

And the lawyer without a fee." 

" Oh, clerical man, it's little I know 

Of the duties of men of this See, 
But I'll eat my hand if I understand 

How you can possibly be : 

" At once the cook and the housemaid bold. 

And the nurse of the infants three, 
And the man-of-all-work and the parish clerk, 

And the lawyer without a fee." 

Then he gave a twitch to his waistcoat, which 

Is a trick all parsons learn, 
And blowing his nose, and squaring his toes, 

He spun this painfful yarn : 

*• Oh, I am, you see, a poor D.D., 

Whose lot is a country cure. 
Five hundred a year, and living is dear. 

And my family might be fewer. 

^' And my wife is ill, and the doctor's bill 

Is something that keeps me awake, 
So I do all the work and try not to shirk 
While creditors make me quake. 

" And I never grieve, and I never smile. 

And I never laugh nor play, 
But I work and work, and a single quirk 

Ihave, which is to say : 

^' Oh, I am the cook and the housemaid bold, 

And the nurse of the infants three. 
And the man-»of-all-work, and the parish clerk. 
And the lawyer without a fee." 
Montreal Star. A. C. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 95 



POPULATION OF JAPAN. 
Japan's population reaches a total of at least 5,000,000 more than Great 
Britain. With Formosa and the other annexations the Japanese people numbered 
46,500,000 six years ago, and they were then increasing at the rate of 500,000 a 
year. Japan has also some very big towns. Tokio has a population of about 
1,500,000, Osaka between 800,000 and 900,000, and there are twenty others 
with a population of more than 50,000 each. 

GOLDWIN SMITH'S LOGIC. 

Mr. Goldwin Smith steadily preaches against war as if some one were in favor 
of it. He as steadily tries to create the impression that the Imperialists— and 
especially Mr. Chamberlain — love war. As a matter of fact, they no more love 
war than the citizen loves to see the policeman's club employed. But when a 
nation's life is to be defended, whether at its hearth-stone or on its *' far-flung 
battle line," war is as necessary as is the use of a policeman's club when a citizen's 
life or purse is to be protected. The only question is, What is a nation justified 
in regarding as a defence of its life ? Should England abandon India because it 
( ould do so without immediate national death ? Most will admit, however, that 
national decay would follow the abandonment of India and the rest of her Em- 
pire ; and that such national " death " as Holland suffered could not fail to follow. 
And if India is not to be abandoned, then surely it is legitimate to provide 
against attack by such expeditions as those to Cabul and Lhassa, instead of 
sitting down until the enemy is filing through the mountain passes. — Montreal 
Star. 



WOOING A SCHOOLTEACHER. 

** Yes," said a young man, as he threw himself at the feet of the pretty school- 
mistress, ** I love y(ju and would go to the world's end for you" 

" You could not go to the end of the world for me, James. The world, or the 
earth, as it is called, is round like a ball, slightly flattened at the poles. One of 
the first lessons of elementary geography is devoted to the shape of the globe. 
You must have studied it when you were a boy." 

'* Of course I did, but " 

** And it is no longer a theory. Circumnavigators have established the fact.'* 

'* I know, but what I meant was that I would do anything to please you. Ah, 
Minerva, if you knew the aching void" 

" There is no such thing as a void, James. Nature abhors a vacuum. Bui, 
admitting that there could be such a thing, how could the void you speak of be 
a void if there were an ache in it ? " 

" I meant to say that my life will be lonely without you ; that you are my daily 
thought and my nightly dream. I would go anywhere to be with you. If you 
were in Australia or at the North Pole, I would fly to you. I " 

" Fly ! It will be another century before men can fly. Even when the laws 
of gravitation are successfully overcome, there will still remain, says a late scien- 
tific authority, the difficulty of maintaining a balance " 

" Well, at all events ! " exclaimed the youth, " I've got a pretty fair balance in 
the bank, and I want you to be my wife. There ! " 

" Well, James, since you put it in that light,. I " 

Curtain. 



96 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



AN IDEAL CHURCH. 

Mrs. Newcombe — Yes, our new house is delighiful, and there's such a nice 
church near it." 

Mrs. Mooven — Indeed ! What denomination ? 

Mrs. Newcombe — I declare I don't know, but the pews are so arranged that 
«:you can see every one who comes in without the slightest trouble. 



•'HOCH, HOCH, FUR GO FT." 

'It is the general conviction, based on the German Kaiser's own acts and 
'Words, that he holds a very exalted opinion of his greatness and personal preroga- 
tive as an emperor. So much is this the case, that it is dangerous to criticise 
him, lest one shall be convicted of " lese majesty " and condemned to severe 
punishment. 

At a harvest festival recently, a woman named Helmholtz cried out in the 
exuberance of her thankfulness, " Hoch, hoch, fur Gott." This is about the 
German equivalent for the Russian Alexieff's " Hurrah for our God ! " A police- 
man questioned the woman, why she did not, as is the custom, reserve this form 
of salutation for his majesty the kaiser. She answered that she thought the 
kaiser himself would admit that God came first. 

Frau Helmholtz was prosecuted for " lese majesty " — disrespect for the kaiser 
— and subjected to a fine or ten days' imprisonment. An appeal to the kaiser 
swas ignored by him. 

The Kaiser is said to be content now that it has been settled by law that he 
takes precedence over " Gott," — at least in Germany. 



VVh n the Russ gels hurt in a fight he praises and thankskys his great Godsky 
that it's no worsky, and prays for helpsky to killsky and skinsky the enemiesky. 
AVhen the Chinese or Jap meets a stinging mishap that makes one eye lookee 
like three, he goes to his boxee and takee the smallee, no goodee godee by the 
headee, and him breakee and smashee every timee. 



Dr. George C Lorimer, of the Madison Avenue Baptist Church, New York, 
when visiting Philadelphia recently, told this story : 

" It is queer what a liking some young students have for long words and Latin 
quotations, and what a dread possesses them of appearing conventional. I once 
knew a promising young student who was pliced in charge of a funeral in the 
absence of the pastor of the church. He knew it was customary for the minister 
to announce after the sermon that those w^ho wished should step up to view the 
remains, but he thought ihis was too hackneyed a phrase, and instead of it he 
said : ' The congregation will now pass around the bier. 



} »j 



A well-known minister in the West tells this good joke against himself. He 
had been conducting a service at a home for incurables in a Manitoba town, and 
had for one of his auditors a paralytic, who, as he lay helplessly back in his 
wheel chair, appeared by frequent nods of approval to be greatly appreciating 
the sermon. At the close, the minister approached his interested hearer to bid 
him farewell, when the latter whispered, " How long have you been at this 
work ? " On the minister replying that he had been preaching for se^veral years, 
ihis intetlocutor calmly remarked, " Don't you think it about time you pulled out 
vand went ioto some honest business ? " 



SEC CJLAE THOUGHT 

A Fortnightly Journal of Rational Criticism in 
Politics, Science, and Religion. 



J. S. ELLIS, Editor. 


NEW SERIES. 




C. n. ELLIS, Bu5. Msrr. 


Vol. XXXI. No. 4. 


TORONTO, FEB. 25, 


1905. 


loc; $2 per ann. 



lpb?0ical llmmoraUt?. 



:o: 



Perhaps nothing will so much hasten the time when body and 
mind will both be adequately cared for as a diffusion of the 
belief that the preservation of health is a duty. Few seem 
conscious that there is such a thing as physical morality.* 
Men's habitual words and acts imply the idea that they are 
at liberty to treat their bodies as they please. Disorders en- 
tailed by disobedience to nature's dictates they regard simply 
as grievances, not as the effects of a conduct more or less 
flagitious. Though the evil consequences inflicted on their 
dependants and on future generations are often as great as 
those caused by crime, yet they do not think themselves in any 
degree criminal. It is true that, in the case of drunkenness, 
the viciousness of a purely bodily transgression is recognized, 
but none appear to infer that, if this bodily transgression is 
vicious, so too is every bodily transgression. The fact is, that 
all breaches of the laws of health are physical sins. When 
this is generally seen, then, and perhaps not till then, will the 
physical training of the young receive all the attention it 
deserves. — Herbert Spencer (Edticatioji), 

EDITORIALS. 

THE NEW EDUCATION QUESTION IN CANADA. 

We ju'e very glad to see the Toronto Telegram sticking to its guns in the 
matter of the education clauses in Sir Wilfrid Laurier's new hills. In 
an article on Feh. 23rd it points out that these hills dig a pit for the 
Liherals just as in 189() the Remedial Bill dug a pit for the Conservatives. 



98 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



In the present case, however, the leaders of the Opposition seem inclined 
to help the Government, with the idea of conciliating the hierarchy, in 
view of future events, but such an idea is doomed to disappointment. 
Loyalty and honor are not failings of the Catholic priesthood, and every 
new opportunity invariably means a new concession for them. 

The Conservative party to-day have an exactly similar opportunity to. 
that they made for the Liberals in 1896. If they miss it, they deserve 
the defeat the Telegram prophecies for them. On the following day the 
same paper published this editorial : 

" Laurier Bill is an Infamy. 

'* Ontario cannot be taught wisdom by falsehoods like the following 
from the Toronto Star : 

" The leading public men of both political parties at Ottawa, and in the West, are 
satisfied that the school arrangement made in 1875 can safely be continued." 

" The Star may be in the confidence of the ' leading men of both poli- 
tical parties,' who probably know the utter and stupid falsity of the 
suggestion that theLaurier bill merely continues the school arrangement 
made in '75. 

*' The school arrangement made in 1875 tolerated Separate schools 
upon conditions fixed by the Territories. 

" The Laurier bill of 1905 establishes Separate schools, regardless of 
conditions laid down by the new Provinces. 

" The school arrangement made in 1875 enabled the Territories to 
insist on properly certificated teachers, to control the text-books, and 
govern Separate schools. 

'' The Laurier bill of 1905 enables the Roman Catholic Church to 
claim its per capita share of public taxation and public land for anything 
which the hierarchy may choose to call a Separate school. 

** The school arrangement made in 1875, bad as it was, left the Terri- 
tories with some right to impose standards of efficiency upon every school 
sharing in public money or public lands. 

*' The Laurier bill of 1905 leaves the new Provinces with no option 
but to hand over the _pfr capita share of public lands and public money 
to the Roman Catholic hierarchy. 

" The school arrangement made in 1875 left State aid to Separate 
schools conditional upon the efficiency of those schools. 

" The Laurier bill of 1905 makes State aid to Roman Catholic schools 
compulsory, regardless of the efficiency of these schools. 

" The Tupper Government was served by a poor lot of coercionist 
organs in 1896, but the Laurier Government has in the Globe's ' learned 
junior ' a coercionist organ whose columns are daily the scene of a St„ 
Bartholomew's massacre of everlasting principles and eternal truths."^ 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 99 

The Telegram mtiy be excused for its metaphorical lapse in making 
the Star kill the immortal, but we are glad to recognize its justice and 
moderation in setting forth the features of the new bills. As will be 
seen, these bills leave the new Provinces no alternative but to permit 
the establishment of any Separate schools the hierarchy may demand, 
with the right to share on equal terms with the Public schools in the 
school taxes and lands, and without any educational tests. 

SIR WILl^RID LAURIER'S SPEECH. 
In his speech introducing tlie bills the Dominion Premier made what 
is described as " a brilliant effort." It certainly was a wordy speech, 
but its concluding passage seems sufficient to justify us in damning its 
author as a narrow-minded and bigoted partisan, totally incapable of 
taking a broad and rational view of intellectual questions. He may be 
a cunning politician, a verbose and fluent speaker, and a fair scholar ; 
but he is evidently an apt pupil of the Catholic Church. Speaking of 
the effect of religious teaching upon public morality, he concluded with 
this '* eloquent and patriotic " peroration : 

** When I compare these two countries, when I compare Canada with 
the United States, when I compare the status of the two nations, when 
I think upon their future, when I observe the social conditions of the 
civil society in each of them, and when I observe in this country of ours 
a total absence of lynchings and almost total absence of divorces and 
murders, for my part I thank heaven that we are living in a country 
where the young children of the land are taught Christian morals and 
Christian dogmas. Either the American S3^stem is right or the Canadian 
system is right. They cannot both be right. For my part, I say, and 
I say it without any hesitation, I know that we are in the right ; and in 
this instance, as in many others, I have an abiding faith in the institu- 
tions of my own country." 

Fittingly the Telegram comments upon the logic and sense of this 
amazing utterance : 

** The preceding words were addressed to the people of Canada by their 
Premier amid all the solemnity of a real Parliament. 

" Such words might more reasonably be expected from an eighteen- 
year-old schoolboy in the empty debates of a mock Parliament. 

" There are no lynchings in Canada and there are Separate schools in 
Canada. There are lynchings in the United States and there are no 
Se[)arate schools in the United States. The absence of lynchings in 
Canada is due to the presence of Separate schools. The presence of 



100 SECULAE THOUGHT. 



lynching in the United States is clue to the absence of Separate schools. 
Great logic — powerful deduction — is it not ? 

" The logic is not great — the deduction is not sound — but the logic 
and the deduction are Sir Wilfrid Laurier's own 

" It is a national humiliation, fh'st that a Premier of Canada should 
introduce such a reactionary .neasure as the Laurier bill, and thirteenth 
and lastly, that a Premier of Canada should employ arguments so shal- 
low and worthless that it would be utterly impolite to affix the true 
names and proper labels to them." 

The Government that plays with religious questions deserves defeat. 

The politician who expects from the hierarchy anything more than 
the price they bargain to give in the immediate case is a blind optimist. 

Sir Wilfrid's majority in Parliament is a large one, and he controls 
the Senate, but his success on this occasion, we believe, will seal his fate 
in the next election. 

In the meantime, he will have sold the rights and liberties of the rew 
Provinces to his co-religionists, and will leave them to fight a hard battle 
with the reactionaries. 

Practically, the new bill means a Canadian Concordat with Rome. 

If it carries, by the time the new Provinces are fairly populated they 
will, with Quebec and the Catholics of the other Provinces, form a large 
majority of the people of Canada ; and their children and their votes 
will be almost entirely under the control of the Catholic power. 

THE DIFFICULTY OF THE SITUATION. 

The real difficulty of the situation, and what gives the Government 
the opportunity of betraying the people on this education question, is 
the fact that, led by the preachers, and even by men likeGoldwin Smith, 
the Protestants as well as the Catholics of Canada firmly believe that 
the national morality would suffer if some sort of religion were not 
taught in the public schools. The perfunctory repeating of the " Lord's 
Prayer" and some passage from the Bible are accepted by most people 
as sufficient — just enough to impress upon the scholars the " sacred " 
character of the religious teaching. 

The connection between morality and religion is not easy of elucida- 
tion, though the abundantly manifest concrete evidence distinctly shows 
religion to have utterly failed in producing either a moral world or a 
physically sound race. Yet religion, even in its crankiest forms, has in 
many individual cases apparently produced great effects for good ; and 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 101 

in some cases, no doubt, religious hopes and fears do act as a restrain- 
ing»force. The same may be said, also, of many other matters of faith 
and knowledge. Probably cranks and lunatics are as moral as religious 
folks generally. 

A few years ago, it will be remembered, a preacher named Farthing, 
of Woodbridge, publicly acknowledged in a discussion with us, that he 
would have been the worst scoundrel in Canada were it not for his hope 
of heaven and dread of hell. The difficulty is to teach such embryo 
fiends that morality depends upon other considerations than the police 
man's truncheon or the promises or threats of a god. 

It may be said that a man who has his heart, his eye, and his hand 
upon another man's gold is already lost to morality, whether he takes 
the gold or not. We may regard it as hyperbolic to say that '* whosoever 
looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her 
already in his heart ;" but it is conceivable that a time may come when 
men's thoughts and passions may be so under control that even this may 
be looked upon as a common and sound moral maxim. 

The restraining influence of a religious faith is only another form of 
the policeman's club idea, and the men who make these things neces- 
sary may be religious, but they certainly are not moral. 

We may ask, what religious dogmas can be considered as moral ? It 
can hardly have much to do with morality to believe that Jesus wrought 
miracles, that devils were driven out of a man into a herd of pigs and 
that water was turned into wine ; that Jesus was half-man and half-god, 
and that he was the son of his god-father and yet as old as his father ; 
that he was also the son of a ghost, and yet that this ghost proceeded 
from both son and father; that there is a trinity of gods — father, son, 
and ghost ? And yet, if these things are not believed, how can Chris-^ 
tianity stand ? 

It is ridiculous to imagine that religious beliefs can affect morality, 
except to degrade it. Morality depends upon knowledge and the ability 
to judge of the effects of speech and action. The religion that subjects 
men's consciences to the alleged authority of God, or Pope, or Bible has 
no relation to morality. It makes men slaves to superstition, and they 
must eat of the Tree of Knowledge before they can distinguish evil from 
good and become moral beings. 

And yet, it seems as if the hands of the new Provinces will be tied 
by their constitution, and their school system practically handed over to 
the Romanists, because the Prptestants are afraid that their fetish Bible 



102 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

may lose its hold if it is not beaten into the children's heads by the 
school teacher's stick. 

DR. MILLIGAN'S VIEW. 

Dr. Milligan the other day gave to an interviewer his views of the 
matter in this shape : 

'* It is a very difficult position to state, in the circumstances, as one 
would like. I am one with the Roman Catholics in believing that the 
religious element should be an integral part of school education. It 
shoud not be relegated as a side matter in the programme of daily 
studies, to he taken up somehow by some one if desired. No one can 
teach any branch of study, secular or sacred, as a teacher may be ex- 
pected to do, not even clerg}'men, as a rule — not, indeed it may be even 
said, they — unless at one time of their lives they have been teachers." 

*' But how can State schools do this with so many different views on 
religious questions ? " asked the interviewer : 

" Surely there are other dogmas than those pertaining to sect and 
ritual upon which all are agreed, and which the very life of a nation 
demands should be known and practised by its people. A prophet of 
old said God would have mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of 
the Lord more than burnt offering. This is the distinction that should 
be maintained between ritualistic and essential dogma." 

Dr. Milligan is wise in his generation, and knows how to evade the 
Catholic objections to the very things he proposes. Even supposing it 
were possible to separate the essentials of religion " upon which all are 
agreed " — what an agreement ! — from sectarian dogmas, it would still be 
impossible to satisfy the Catholics. They want in the schools, not reli- 
• gion, but a priest — a priest, paid from the State funds, in fall charge of 
the " education," sacred and secular. 

Dr. Milligan, of course, does not give us any list of dogmas on which 
all Christians are agreed. He and his fellows appear to want religion 
of some sort — or almost any sort — forced on the children by the school 
authority. Let that be done, and the churches will do the rest. He 
would doubtless like to teach the true Protestant doctrines and exclude 
the false Catholic ones, but is willing to compromise so long as religious 
dogmas of some sort are taught. 

It was a terrible thing when, a year or two ago, the French Govern- 
ment decided to abolish all references to *' god " from the school books. 
But the French Government was both wise and logical. The teaching of 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 103 

*' god " and his attributes, benevolent or malevolent, as a piece of cer- 
tain knowledge, is enough to vitiate a great deal of what is commonly 
taught in schools, and certainly violates the fundamental basis of ethics. 

Who knows anything at all about " god ? " With *' god " forced into 
them, the lessons of modern science are half destroyed. And Dr. Milli- 
gan and his fellows know that, unless the existence of " god " be taught 
as a truth as certain as the rotundity of the earth, belief in it will soon 
evaporate. With it, all the rest of the rigmarole of religious teaching 
follows naturall}'. 

Like a true ecclesiastic. Dr. Milligan, asked what he thought of a purely 
secular system of education as a solution of the difficulty, said he was 
strongly opposed to it. He was in favor of giving the Catholics Separate 
schools — '' anything but secularism." And so he is ready to sell his 
country to the Scarlet Woman rather than allow a rational system of 
State education to be established. 

PREMIER HAULTAIN, OF THE TERRITORIES. 

Mr. Haultain proves distinctly the falsity of the two claims — that the 
Territories are satisfied, and that the Laurier bill simply continues the 
agreement of 1875. His draft bill was so phrased as to leave education 
wholly within the jurisdiction of the Province, and even if Parliament 
imposes Separate schools upon the West, he objects to the clause relating 
to the division of the school funds. This clause reads : 

" In the appropriation of public moneys by the Legislature in aid of education, and 
in the distnbution of any moneys paid to the Government of a Province arising from 
the school funds established by the Dominion Lands Act, there shall be no discrimi- 
nation between the Public schools and the Separate schools, and such moneys shall 
be applied to the support of Public and Separate schools in equitable shares or 
proportions." 

Mr. Haultain justly thinks that the insertion of such a stipulation is 
a gross infringement of provincial powers. Without Dominion compul- 
sion, the Territories have hitherto made an equitable division of public 
funds ; and if the Dominion is now to step in and prescribe the terms 
upon which the education funds are to be administered, why not go all 
the way and formulate a complete set of school regulations ? 

To bind the Provinces, to impose upon them limitations which they 
will feel to be unjust, will rouse a spirit far more dangerous to the mi- 
nority than any danger which would be removed by the insertion of a 



104 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



guarantee in the Act. Mr. Haultain says be will fight the new clauses 
with every resource at his command. 

^ THE PHILOSOPHER OF THE GRANGE. 

To an interviewer, Goldwin Smith expressed his opinions thus, and wa 
are pleased to record them in his favor : 

'' The entire separation of Church and State, and the perfect equality 
of all religions before the law, are, perhaps the clearest gain made by 
humanity in its transition from the Old World to the New." [Would it 
were an accomplished fact in any country excepting France.] *' Of this 
principle, the concession of special privileges to Catholics in the matter 
of public schools is manifestly an infraction. We go backward in this 
respect, while France and other nations in the old world go forward.. . . 

" Sir Wilfrid Laurier boasts of the superior moral effect of our school 
system compared with that of the American system, among other things 
in freedom from divorce. In deference to ecclesiastical sentiment, Canada 
is kept without a Divorce Court other than a political assembly. Cana- 
dians resort to American Divorce Courts, and of this Sir Wilfrid boasts 
as our freedom from divorce ! 

" It seems to me that we ought to go to the British Parliament and 
get the restrictive clauses respecting the matter of public education 
struck out of the British North America Act, and the whole subject en- 
trusted to the hands of our o\Nn Legislatures. 

" I do not pretend to be a constitutional lawyer, but it seems to me 
that the power of the Dominion under the British North America Act to 
do what it is doing is by no means clear." 

The great danger is, that if the Act once passes, the Catholic priests 
will at once claim their full rights under it, and it may take a long time 
to set it aside. Whether justified to any degree by the British North 
America Act or not, it seems clear that it gives to the Catholics greater 
privileges than they possess in any of the Provinces outside of Quebec. 

It is conceivable that, even under the clauses as they now stand, the 
Legislatures of the new Provinces might attempt to nullify their evil 
effects by passing efficiency regulations controlling their entire school 
systems, but this could only be accomplished after a struggle similar to 
that of 1896. Is it good to be laying a train for a civil war ? 

A NEW ''EVANGELICAL" PREACHER IN TORONTO. 
If Presbyterianism in Toronto lost a big theological gun by the death 
of Prof. Caven, the Anglican Church has gained a very little one in the 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 105 



person of the Rev. Frederick Wilkinson, the new rector of St. Peter's 
Church. Mr. Wilkinson is a graduate of Wycliffe College, and preached 
two sermons on the day of his initiation to his new office. His text at 
the evening, service was, " If an}^ man will come after me, let him deny 
himself and take up his cross and follow me ;" and the substance of his 
sermon is given to us in this shape : 

*' Religion was often brought into contempt through the shortcomings 
of its representatives, although the religion of Jesus Christ had been 
proven to be without a fault ! The first great remedy for defects in the 
individual life was that the Christian be separated from the world and 
identified with Christ. One of the hard tests came after the first enthu- 
siasm had died away, and the disciple realized that religion was not a 
question of feeling, but of doing the King's business, which involved the 
denying of one's identity for Christ I The remedy for the conflict within 
the life was to take up the cross daily. The idea was not merely bearing 
the cross, but setting it up and being crucified upon it. Men tired of the 
plain manna, and the old self reasserted itself, and each day the self 
must be slain that Christ may be all in all. The only way to save life was 
to lose it in Christ's service and in helping struggling ones to victory." 

Language, said the cynic, was given to man to hide his thoughts ; and 
if Mr. Wilkinson's sermon deserved the eulogium of the scribe who re- 
ported it, and who characterized it as '' emphasizing the practical side of 
life," then we must admit our utter want of mental acuteness. 

We once had a volume of sermons entitled *' In Christ." We were 
professionally compelled to read this volume in weekly instalments ; but 
we must admit that, though it had the great merit of iteration and re- 
iteration of its leading idea to a nauseous extent, we never got close 
enough to the author to read a tangible meaning into even one sentence. 
A volume of sermons from Mr. Wilkinson's pen would, we imagine, be 
equally luminous. Oh, the delight of being a true Christian ! 

But, says the (inspired ?) reporter, Mr. Wilkinson deals with practical 
matters. In his sermon he givTS us, not mere theories and dogmas, but 
the practical work a true Christian goes through — or should go through 
— when '' the first enthusiasm has died away," and he gets down to real 
liard training; when the taste for fresh manna is palled, and he has to 
put up with the pork and beans of daily duty. Alas ! that the glamor 
of a new and beautiful and true religion should so soon vanish ! 

Mr. Wilkinson, of course, practises what he preachers. Once a day 
at least he goes through what he says is the daily duty of a Christian — 
perhaps he does it oftener, just to encourage the others ; but if he does 



106 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

it once only, this will be about his daily routine, giving him credit for 
being an ordinarily vigorous man : 



7 a.m. — Cold bath, followed by a two-mile sharp walk for exercise. 

8 a.m. — Breakfast : Manna, with trimmings of ham, eggs, etc. 

9 a.m. — Reading newspaper and letters. 

10 a.m. — Setting up the cross and being crucified upon it. (This 

means, probably, writing a portion of Sunday's sermon.) 

1 1 a.m. — Service in church. 

12 noon. — Lunch : Manna, with dishes of beef and pie, beer, etc. 

1 p.m. — Slays himself, that Christ may be all in all 

2 p.m. — Visiting ; separating himself from the world. 

4 p.m. — Loses his life in Christ's service. 

5 p.m. — Five o'clock tea at friend's house ; King's business. 

6 p.m.— Dinner : Manna, with turkey, etc. 

7 p.m. — Church service ; denies his identity for Christ's sake. 

8 p.m. Social intercourse, aided by wine and cigars. 

1 1 p.m. — Whisky nightcap, and bed — loses himself once more. 



The Friar of Orders Gray is still among us : the cant is the same, but 
dress and manners are slightly changed, that is all the difference, and 
the change is certainly not an improvement. 

THE ST. LOUIS FAIR AND " PROPHECY." 

The preacher who cannot find the fulfilment of '* prophecy " some- 
where in his neighborhood must be a dummy, and Rev. Bartlett, pastor 
oi the First Congregational Church, Chicago, is certainly not one of 
these. He thinks that what the United States Government has done for 
the Filipinos, as shown at the late St. Louis Fair, makes " all talk of 
imperialism silly." Why so is not clear. If the United States has con- 
quered or bought a foreign country, and governs it at its own sweet will, 
it will not alter that fact if the inhabitants of the country incidentally 
get some benefit out of the transaction, in addition to the slaughter and 
torture to which they have been subjected. But, said he, 

*' There has been a deep religious significance in the Louisiana Pur- 
chase Exposition. It is a part of the fulfilment of prophecy concerning 
the coming together of the nations in peace. The exhibits of the nations 
indicate the character and history of the peoples themselves. Those 
which have been under the heel of despotic power show the effects of 
that in the slow development of their arts, industries, and inventions. 
While, on the other hand, the nations which have come up in the free- 
dom which the Christian religion gave them and which the Reformation 
confirmed, show by their exhibits that the world of progress has found 
its inspiration in the enlightenment of the Christian faith. If one 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 107 

wanted tlie confirmation of the power of missions, let them go to the 
Filipino villages and see the native in his ignorance, and then to the 
school or drill ground and behold the effect of training and education." 

The logic of the rev. gentleman seems rather confused. His facts 
would seem to show that " training and education " are responsible for 
the improvements he ascribes to the Christian faith. If we are to take 
the products of the countries where Christianity has been the prevailing 
faith as evidence of the beneficial effect of that faith, why not also attri- 
bute them to any other noticeable characteristic in those countries ? 

British and German workmen have both been noted rather for beer- 
drinking than for religion. Shall we attribute their modern industrial 
and scientific progress to British and German drunkenness? Should we 
not rather attribute their progress in murderous implements of war to 
their religious faith ? Mr. Bartlett's logic is like Sir Wilfrid Laurier's. 
If we attribute our social advantages to our religious faith, why not also 
our social evils ? 

The same paper that tells us of Mr. Bartlett's views also tells us that 
the party of Hairy Ainus (a race inhabiting Northern Japan, supposed 
to be the remnants of the original inhabitants), when they arrived at the 
Fair, asked at once where they could attend the services of the Episcopal 
Church ! These Hairy Ainus, we suppose, would die or suffer some sort 
of purgatory if they could not every few hours hear the mellifluous tones 
of some well-fed preacher's voice. We do not know how many Hairy 
Ainus have been converted to Episcopal Christianity, but we shall not 
have much fear for their future if, beside the insinuating missionary, 
the Japanese Government takes care that there shall stand a competent 
school teacher. Ainus, Hairy or smooth-skinned, being without the 
inherited and inbred bias of Western Christians, will soon be able to 
judge wisely as to which is the most reliable basis for practical life — the 
teacher's facts or the preacher's buncombe. 

THE ''GRAFT" OF THE OFFICIAL CHAPLAIN. 
The real meaning of the strong efforts made by the preachers to be 
allowed to teach and preach religion in public schools, prisons, asylums, 
etc., is shown in a case that occurred recently in New York. Some few 
years ago a Catholic priest and a Protestant preacher volunteered to act 
as chaplains to the Fire Department, and their services were accepted, 
the question of salary not arising, as the offer was made simply through 



108 SECULAK THOUGHT. 



a desire to do " the Lord's work." Since then two other priests have 
been allowed to join the staff on the same conditions, but at the last 
session of the Legislature an Act was passed authorizing the payment 
of an annual stipend of $1,000 to each of these holy men. The Civil 
Service Commissioners, however, were dubious about paying the money, 
as, according to law, all members of the Fire Department must pass a 
competitive examination ; but the chaplains have petitioned the Com- 
missioners to place them on the exempt list, for which no examination 
is required, and this no doubt will be done, as the preachers need the 
money and have got the " pull." 

The next move, of course, will be to obtain an annual increase of 
salar}^ This is a natural and universal feature, except for those who 
are compelled to do real and useful work. 

And this is how they "Keep Church and State for ever separate" in 
the United States ! 

CANADA SHOULD OWN HER OWN RAILWAYS. 

Mr. J. C. Cumming, Jr., of Melbourne, Australia, was recently in 
Ottawa, Ont., on his way home from attending the Scientists' Congress 
at the St. Louis Fair. He asserts that in the Commonwealth of Aus- 
tralia Government ownership of railways, in spite of early mistakes, has 
proved decidedly successful. The railways are now being run on busi- 
ness lines and are giving general satisfaction. The State-owned railways 
of Victoria have been brought to their present state of efficienc}^ under 
the management of Mr. Thomas Tait, formerly of the C. P. R. Mr. 
Tait receives a salary of $17,500 a year, and is at the head of a Railway 
Commission absolutely free, it is said, from political control or interfer- 
ence. It surely is not a sign of madness to ask. Why cannot Canada do 
as well as Australia in this line ? 

It is ** up to" the ministers who are pledging the Canadian finances 
to enable the Grand Trunk Railway to build the new transcontinental 
railway, to show some rational cause why the Canadian people should 
not build their own railway and get what profit there may be in it, in- 
stead of playing into the hands of the multimillionaires who already 
have received extravagant bonuses for the railways they now hold. 

We have, like Australia, a Railway Commission with almost unlimited 
power, but its work seems mainly directed towards protecting the inte- 
rests of the giant railway monopolies instead of guarding the rights of 
the people. In many cases, its decisions violate every idea of justice. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 109 

Reverence for ''Sacre&'' ZTbinae* 

BY GEORGE ALLEN WHITE. 

:o: 

IV. f conclusion J . 

Under Theodosias the rights of Pagans were taken away and their 
temples destroyed by '* reverent " Christians. As related by Gibbon, 
the Pagans declared that the temple was to them " the very eye of na-. 
ture, the symbol and manifestation of an ever-present deity, the solace 
of all their troubles, the holiest of all their joys, and if it were over- 
thrown, their dearest association would be annihilated. The tie that 
linked them to the dead would be severed. The poetry of life, the con- 
solation of labor, the source of faith would be destroyed." 

This representation availed the Pagans nothing. Not even ordinary 
decency was vouchsafed them. 

That noble Christian orator, Julius Firmicius Maternus, in attempting 
to egg on the Emperors Constantius and Constans to violence upon the 
opposition, said : 

" Take away, take away in perfect security, O most holy Emperors, take away all 
the ornaments of their temples. Let the fire of the mint, or the flames of the mines, 
melt down their gods. Seize upon all their wealthy endowments, and turn them to 
your own use and property. And, O most sacred Emperors, it is absolutely necessary 
for you to revenge and punish this evil. You are commanded by the law of the Most 
High God to persecute all sorts of idolatry with the utmost severity." 

Calvin, in considering the profusion with which the milk of the Virgin 
Mary appeared to be scattered in relic form over Catholic Europe, ob- 
served that "'one might suppose she was a wet-nurse or a cow," thereby 
exhibiting unmistakable reverence for the sacred things of others. 

Nor is it on the past alone that our blessed Christian religion has seen 
fit to point the finger of ridicule and lay the heavy hand of desecration 
and sacrilege. How is it to-day ? What of Christian Science *? How 
much reverence is accorded this new faith by the old sects? How about 
Dowieism, Teedism, Mormonism, Voodooism, Theosophy, Spiritualism, 
Astrology, or Judaism — each fighting for life in the face of pious ridi- 
cule? How is it, too, with Freethought? Were I to found a new sect 
to-morrow, how much reverence would it elicit from the dominant sect ? 

No more glaring antithesis can be discovered than that between Chris- 
tian preaching and Christian practice. As the Judaistic Scribes and 
Pharisees of old ridiculed Christ, so the Christian scribes and pharisees 
of the present day ridicule their rivals. Not a struggliug band or body 
can be named, no matter how sacred its beliefs are considered by its 
followers — and no matter even if it profess allegiance to the Gospel 



110 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



Christ himself, — which nevertheless is not made a hutt of ribald attack 
of every description by the Christian majority of this country. Chris- 
tianity has not reverenced — Christianity does not reverence — anything 
but itself. 

Inman says, in "Ancient Faiths:" " In the course of my life I have 
heard very many sermons and speeches made by missionaries, and have 
perused very many of their written reports and books. In these we see 
conspicuously a contempt for the absurd beliefs of the heathen and 
sneers at the theology of their priests." 

The late H. L. Hastings, formerly one of the leading popular defen- 
ders of Christianity, says : " Egypt had her hideous images, her sacred 
calves and consecrated cats and monkeys and crocodiles, which her wise 
men worshipped and adored." (" Atheism and Arithmetic," p. 11.) 
" Moses was reared in a land of magnificent temples devoted to base 
and obscene idolatries ; wliere the highest culture of the age bowed in 
adoration before sacred serpents, holy hawks, blessed beetles, consecrated 
crocodiles, and divine bulls ; where men erected obelisks and adored 
monkeys, built pyramids and worshipped cats. . . .Heathen cosmogonies 
are puerile, fabulous and absurd." (" Was Moses Mistaken," pp. 10, 35.) 

How the allied punitive force sent to China in 1900 revered sacred 
things is told by Edward Wildman in a Neiv York Journal despatch of 
September 4th of that year : " China's most sacred temples and palaces 
have been profaned by the armies of the civilized world, which have 
marched ruthlessly over the traditions of the Empire in their progress 
to avenge the Pekin outrages. The mute lips and downcast eyes of the 
household ministers and servants in the Forbidden City, as the allies 
trampled over the sacred ground, eloquently expressed tne shocked sen- 
sibilities of the Chinamen. Through temples and past thrones venerated 
for centuries marched the booted and spurred legions of the New World, 
each footstep warning China that the ancient dynasty had fallen." 

George Lynch, a well-known English correspondent, says {Collier s 
Weekly, 1900) : "Horses were stabled in the temples, and the art heir- 
looms of thousands of years of the nation's life to be found therein 
were mutilated aud destroyed where they were not stolen. . . .Hundreds 
of the books were written in the quaint characters which showed that 
they belonged to, and were written by, Lama priests; many of them 
had probably found their way there from the bleak steppes of far Tibet. 
.... They were all alike consigned to the same funeral pyre, and thou- 
sands of volumes of unascertained, but perhaps of considerable value, 
were thus lost to the w-orld for ever." 

Thus does the hoary attempt of superstition to enforce reverence for 
itself as a just obligation fail completely when subjected to the light of 
reason. If Christianity still declines to enter the arena of discussion 
with other open questions, it must fail ; if it consents to do so, then it 
will also fail, though more quickly. The anathemas and taboos that in 
the past have been used to shackle thought are fast losing their terrors ; 



SECULAR THOUGHT. Ill 

and the clay is close at hand when the complete emancipation of the 
human mind will mark another giorious milestone in the upward striv- 
ing of mankind. 



letbice of tbe public Scbool. 



BY REV. A. M. WALKER, CHURCH OF MESSIAH (UNITARIAN), ST. JOHN, N B. 

:o: 

The proposed bill by which two new Provinces are to be added to the 
Dominion has created considerable discussion among the citizens of 
Canada. Some, because of political affinity, would necessarily oppose 
any project of their political opponents. But this bill presents interests 
above those of mere party politics. So it is not as a politician, but as 
an ethical student, that I approach this subject. 

There are two aspects of the educational clauses. One concerns the 
rights of a province, or its autonomy ; the other concerns the attitude of 
the State toward religion. I shall be concerned chietly with the latter. 

As to the first, the following considerations seem to argue against the 
proposed clauses. This responsibility ought to involve the right of the 
citizens to decide what sort of schools they shall have. I believe the 
truth of this proposition is self-evident. 

Again, the action of the Government seems to discredit both the in- 
telligence and the morality of the people of the new Provinces. Measures 
of coercion usually imply such deficiencies. I think, from an ethical 
point of view, that the intelligence and the sense of justice of the people 
of the new Provinces have some rights in the matter, and ought to be 
trusted in affairs of purely local significance. 

And tlien the principle of autonomy is in itself a w^holesome one, and 
ought to be respected whenever and wherever possible. There are certain 
interests which concern the entire Dominion. Of course, these are for 
Dominion legislation. But in the details of provincial affairs, the prin- 
ciple of autonomy ought to be respected on the ground of responsibility 
already referred to. 

Let us now take up the second aspect of the matter. Here I shall not 
set forth the virtues or vices of any church, but what I shall s^y will 
apply to all churches. My opinion in tbe matter is that 

The State should in no wise recognize religion, 

except to guarantee absolute freedom of worship in so far as individual 
rights are not outraged. In support of this opinion I submit tlie follow- 
ing reasons. 

The first which I mention is very general, but will serve as a founda- 
tion for more specific reasons. It is this : State recognition of religion 
has been attended by confusion and injustice throughout its history. I 
need not trace the career of Church and State since the davs of Con- 



112 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

stantine. Every student knows that such a history leads along a high- 
way of persecution, outrage, injustice, and ignorance. The history of 
the State Church is a story of unrighteousness. In this there is no dis- 
tinction to he made between Christians and pagans. Among both, injus- 
tice and oppression have paraded in the garb of religion. 

We are not without present illustrations of this reason. The turmoil 
in France over the separation of Church and State, the Passive Resist- 
ance Movement in England, the Scotch Church fiasco, the Indian Ap- 
propriation frauds in the United States, all bear witness that religion is 
not to be over-trusted. Yes, there is such a thing as over-straining the 
religious instincts. And union of State and Church seems to have been 
and is a moral problem which the Church has never been able to solve 
with justice — unless it be to dissolve partnershij). Hence, in the name 
of justice and peace, I oppose all State recognition of religion. 

I present now some more specific reasons. 

The proposed bill and some of the provinces provide for separate 
schools for Catholics and Protestants. The separation is based on reli- 
gious convictions. But what right has the State to stop here in the 
matter of religious differentiation ? The religious division is not com- 
plete when we have put all into two great classes. If the State is going 
to act on a principle of recognizing religious convictions, then it must 
be prepared to build separate schools for all the shades in the religious 
spectrum. If Catholics and Protestants cannot study together because 
of a difterence in the Bibles used for devotions, why should not the 
Liberal have a separate school, where his children could hear Voltaire, 
Paine, or Ingersoll read in preference to David or St. Paul ? 

Jews differ from Christians more than Protestants do from Catholics ; 
and hence, on the principle of State recognition of religion, they of all 
people ought to have separate schools. 

The logical absurdities of this principle are so apparent that it seems 
ridiculous. The school is a public institution. Now, if the State is to 
recognize religion in this institution, why not recognize it in other insti- 
tutions? The silliness of such a proposition is evident when we think 
of Catholic and Protestant court-houses, post-offices, town-halls, and 
dumping-grounds. 

Now, let us seek the purpose of the public gchool. It is to educate. 
That is, in the first place, the mind is to be developed. This is necessary 
for the safety of the State. P'or a State composed of idiots is unthink- 
able. Hence the necessity of teaching writing, reading,, arithmetic, and 
all the so-called secular studies. 

Further, the school must produce characters. Hence, the scholar 
learns obedience, industry, the ethics of reward and punishment, love, 
patriotism, honesty — the rod frequently proving the policy of honesty — 
self-reliance ; indeed, the best things of character are not only learned, 
but are also enforced in the public school. 

Now, if it be suggested that religion also should be taught, I reply, 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 113 



that I should consent to this proposition when it is proven that the mul- 
tiplication table depends on baptism for its truthfulness, that hygiene 
depends upon an infallible Bible, or that astronomy depends upon an 
infallible Pope. 

The school is to teach things that are certain, and therefore cannot 
properly countenance the speculations of theologians. Religion has no 
legitimate place, then, in the public schools. It is the peculiar business 
of the church, and hence let there be a division of labor in this matter. 

Furthermore, religion must be a peculiarly immoral or vicious thing 
if Catholics and Protestants and Jews cannot study arithmetic without 
quarrelling over a Bible or some other religious object. 

When children quarrel over their toys, the mother usually deprives 
them of their toys. So ought the State to do. If all children cannot 
come together to study without quarrelling, then the State ought to 
remove the object of the quarrelling — viz., some religious thing, either 
Bible or what not. If the Bible can produce only discord at its best, 
then the State should banish it from its schools, and hand it over to the 
churches, which love discord and strife. 

It is, indeed, a travesty upon Christ to think that his professed fol- 
lowers cannot study and play together in the same school. 

This matter of separate schools would seem to suggest that religion is 
like two fighting-cocks, which must be kept in separate coops, or like 
bulldogs, which must be chained to separate kennels. The State cannot 
afford to harbor such dangerous animals, but must by non-recognition 
eliminate them from her sphere of action. 

As a final reason against the separate school system, I present this- 
thought. The separate school does violence to the spirit of democracy. 
This is a democratic age. People are coming together. A social con- 
science is being developed. And the public school, where Catholic and 
Protestant, Jew and Gentile, orthodox and liberal, come together for a 
common purpose — namely, to fit themselves for life — will do more to- 
strengthen democracy than all the churches. By nature the churches 
are narrow and sectarian, the school is cosmopolitan. The church may 
preach brotherhood, but it practises a caste system ; the church is ex- 
clusive, and the separate school reflects the narrowness of the church. 

A nation must depend in the coming century, not so much upon her 
churches as upon her schools. If catholicity of sentiment, identity of 
interests, intelligent patriotism, and nobility of ideals, are what a nation 
seeks, then the general school and not the separate school must be the 
medium through which they are to be attained. Recognizing sectarianism 
as an essential element in the educational life of a nation is to do violence 
to the best theories of education, and endangers the happy growth of the 
sentiment of democracy. 

I conclude, then, that the separate school system, however justified in 
the past, does not accord with the best educational ideals of the twen- 
tieth century. 



114 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



Xiberal anb ]freetbouQbt ©rganisation* 

:o: 

BY DR. J. B. WILSON, CINCINNATI, OHIO. 

:o: 

[Dr. Wilson was one of the three American delegates to the great Freethought 
Congress at Rome,'Sept., 1904, and prepared this paper, but declined to read 
it as French had been chosen as the official language. It was subsequently 
published |^ the Blue Grass Blade.] 



As long as the majority of human beings are mental slaves, thought cannot be 
secure in its freedom. Only the few realize that their own freedom depends 
upon the freedom of the majority. 

The evolution of liberty is a process of slow growth. At spasmodic intervals, 
Liberals act conjunctively and revolt ; but with the end of revolution comes the 
end of organization. 

Such liberty as we now possess is not the result of organization, but rather the 
result of the work and sacrifice and genius of a few great and fearless individuals, 
far separated from each other. 

Each nation has developed one or more great Liberal teachers and iconoclasts, 
whose individual efforts have not only stimulated the cause of freedom in their 
respective countries, but whose influence has extended to other nations, and 
in some rare cases has become world-wide. 

If the indviidual labors of leading Freethinkers have wrought such great effects, 
what might not their collective efforts accomplish ? In union there is strength. 
Individual effort must ever be confined to the slow process of education 

The secret of the power of the church, by which she wields political and 
legislative inflaence, lies wholly in her organization. She awes humanity by her 
imposing temples, by her great parades, and by the pomp and pride of authority. 

The secret of the power of party and of government lies in organization. 
King and priest take advantage of the weakness of humanity to follow blindly 
where the few combine to lead. 

The organization of Freethought is of an entirely different character. 

The Freethinker is not a follower. Unless he be an enthusiast he cannot be 
organized. 

You cannot organize the free brain simply because the freeman's freedom is 
t)ie result of escape from organization. As long as a man believes what his 
priest or party tells him, as long as he believes some other man's word to be the 
gospel, he can be brought into organization and kept there. 

.A.S soon as he begins to exercise independent thought, as soon as he begins to 
reason, he immediately drops organization, and is not inclined to take it up again. 
. Only that Freethinker who is intensely imbued with the love of liberality, who 
is an enthusiast, who is ever alive to the importance of the security which rests 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 115 

in the majority, who is fearless and ready to make personal sacrifices — only such 
can be brought together in active organization. 

The first step, then, should be to bring these enthusiasts together. The re- 
presentatives of each nation should acquaint the secretary with the names and 
addresses of leading, active enthusiasts in this country, and he should correspond 
with the same at once, acquainting them with our objects, and soliciting co-opera- 
tion. 'I'he means of such co-operation are to be found chiefly among writer>',. 
editors, speakers, authors, college professors, and other well-known enthusiasts 
and supporters. Some of our most active and efficient workers are to be found 
among men and women who are not gifted with speech, but instead are gifted 
with large practical sense, and who do most effective work by their generosity 
and by distributing literature. There are no more valuable members than these. 
The practical businesi mind is of utmost importance in organization, as every- 
thing depends upon ways and means. 

In choosing members the same scrutiny and investigation should be exercised 
as that observed by the strictest fraternal or professional fellowship. To become 
a member of this organization should be considered an honor, and honors should 
never be cheap. 

The very exclusiveness of the Masonic organization inclines men to j jin it 
without solicitation upon the part of its members. 

Let this organization be select ; let it maintain such intellectual dignity and 
respectability that the ambitious, progressive Liberal in the ranks will seek mem- 
bership for the honor the association will bring to him. 

Instead of making it an association which any one may join for the asking or 
urging, let us make it an organization which men will aspire to join of their own 
accord. A quick growth is not lasting. I believe that the membership will 
increase more rapidly by this process than by general solicitation, and more 
unanimity and harmony prevail. 

Every precaution should be taken at the very beginning that the foundations 
of organization be substantial and permanent. 

All over England and America are run-down Freethought organizations and 
societies. It is almost useless to attempt to reconstruct a run-down organization. 
Like an old man bankrupt, it can never rekindle the fires of its earlier years. 
Therefore, if we would build a great international Freethought organization, see 
to it that its foundations are firm and strong. 

See to it that interest is kept alive and that it does not lapse into indifference 
and discouragement. I have had four years of practical official experience, 
standing at the head of the leading liberal organization of my country, and I find 
general solicitation of membership to be a flat failure. 

It proved a failure also with my predecessors in office. I believe it useless to 
attempt to effect a purely Freethought organization of numerical importance. In 



116 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

every station of life, the believer may be organized, because he will submit to be 
led. The Freethinker is directly different in this respect. It is further useless 
because the great majority of Freethinkers are only Freethinkers in degree. 
Like every other class we have an infinite variety of adherents. Some have-just 
picked the orthodox shell. Some are religiously free, but have not thrown off 
their political and racial superstition. Some place great value upon their own 
liberty, but are indifferent to the liberty of others. These are only Freethinkers 
in degree, and cannot be organized. Besides, they should not be eligible in a 
great international deliberative body like this should be. Their presence would 
only produce confusion, and prove a weakness rather than a strength. A few 
leading spirits working in harmony will prove a more effective working body. 

There are a great many wealthy, educated and influential Freethinkers, who, 
for divers well known reasons, will not affiliate with the active workers. Neither 
can this aristocratic element be organized. Owing, therefore, to the many existing 
species of Freethinkers, I would advise a judicious exclusiveness on the part of 
this organization. It will prove more substantial and will be honored and 
respected in the end. 

I do not know of a single Freethought society composed of an indiscriminate 
membership that has lived. 

It is my experience and observation that whatever work is to be done, either as 
individuals or as an organized body, must be done by the enthusiastic, active few. 

The man who is fearless, who works for the advancement of mankind simply 
because his heart is in the work, he, and he only, among Liberals may be 
organized. 

This does not imply that the great mass of Liberals are indifferent to the cause. 
Far from it. Many patronize our journals, distribute literature, and when called 
upon readily contribute to worthy enterprises, and also manifest a warm interest 
in the woik of the leaders, but they cannot be drawn into organization, and it is 
useless to attempt it. 

Therefore, let this body remain as it now is, a representative body, an assembly 
of generals and diplomats, acting independently of the ranks. Let us not aim in 
the beginning at numerical strength, but rather at quality Let us bring together 
our best scientific and representative thinkers and workers and let these keep in 
touch with each other the world over. 

Let this body be of such intellectual dignity that ambitious, progressive, and 
worthy Liberals will seek it of their own accord, and let none such be barred. 
The most honorable and useful member often is the man who does things, rather 
than the man who speechifies ; the man who plans rather than the man who 
theorizes. 

The objects of organization should be thoroughly discussed, and practical 
plans of propaganda outlined. Not only the subject of education, but that of 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 117 



Legislation should be taken up, and also means employed by which we may gain 
admission to the columns of the press. The methods of "The American Press 
Association " might be looked into with profit. 

I wish to add, in conclusion, that the National Liberal Party of the United 
States sends hearty greetings to this great Congress. It has sent me here as its 
representative, because it believes that this Congress marks an epoch in the 
history and progress of mankind. 

It is indeed the most important event that has taken place since the Reforma- 
tion, surpassing even the conquests of nations, and the rise and fall of empires. 
It affects alike all nations of men. 

We are bearding the wolf of superstition in his very den. The possibility of 
such a meeting is the triumph of centuries of human struggle, persecution and 
sacrifice. But a few years ago, such a Congress would have been the occasion, 
of a riot and s'aughter. 

This Congress is the victory of a million martyrs who have suffered at the- 
hands of Rome, of great souls who bravely went to the rack and stake, or who 
starved and burned their lives away in dungeon gloom. 

It is the victory of that long line of Pagan orators, moralists and lawmakers, 
whose wealth of wisdom the modern world still takes as its standard and its guide. 

Their godlike voices, which once fed Rome, are to-day re-echoing in the 
Eternal City. 

It is the victory of Hypatia and Coj^ernicus and Galileo and Bruno and 
Vanini and Voltaire, and of all brave and loving souls, since their day, who 
have given the thoughts of their brains to make men free. 



H la "Xacon." 

BY WINNIPEG. 

:o: 



About a century or so ago (the "so" to be endowed with much latitude), the 
Rev. Somebody Colton — if my memory serve me not awry — published a small 
volume entitled " Lacon." This work, as its name vaguely implies, dealt briefly 
with many subjects. No particular plan was adopted ; not even alphabetical 
order, 'i'he writer, as his fancy led him, offered his opinion upon a variety of 
things ; thus, in speaking of one who commits suicide, he defined him as " a man 
who relinquishes earth to forfeit heaven." I regret to add, the reverend gentle- 
man relinquished the one and, presumably, forfeited the other. The '* Lacon " 
style is an easy way of airing one's opinions upon a variety of subjects. 

Most people are eager to obtain wealth ; but the majority of those who hanker 
after riches adopt methods to obtain them which are often laborious and fre- 
quently unsuccessful. Naw, I am in a position to point out a way which never 



118 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



fails ; and is, moreover, as simple as it is efficacious. This is no sharper's ad. ; 
and it is not a hoax. As surely as God speaks to his erring children through the 
mouths of his holy ministers, so true is this plan. I claim no credit for it, dear 
reader ; my great desire is to render you a multimillionaire, and increase, in like 
proportion, the bank-balance of the Almighty. Let me explain. 

It is not often that I read church news in the papers ; but the other day I 
chanced to glance at a Sunday-school lesson. For the Lord's sake ! What. a 
tremendous caper my spirit did cut ! I learned an infallible method of making 
men wealthy ; whether they will acquire health and wisdom as well, as undoubt- 
edly they would do by going to bed early and rising before dawn, is another 
question. But, not to keep the readers of Secul.ar Thought any longer in 
suspense, let me unfold the plan : give God half your income. I am not in a 
position to state positively that a letter, registered in Canada and containing a 
P.O.O., would reach heaven's mighty potentate. There have been so many 
robberies committed lately by post-office officials in this country that perhaps it 
would not ; but most certain I am, that if you hand the half of your monthly 
salary to an ordained minister of God's holy church, the reverend gentleman will 
merkly undertake to convey your gift to the great J AH. But, reader, if you 
should follow this plan, deferentially I beseech you not to be " curious in unne- 
cessary matters." Don't ply the holy man with questions as to the methods he 
will adopt to place the money in the hands of him whom you wish to benefit. 
Be convinced that God will get it. 

In the S.S. lesson alluded to I read that a certain youth, drawing precisely ten 
dollars a week, gave God exactly half of it. The terrestrial biped's income was 
soon doubled. Continuing the good plan, the youth, in a very short time, was 
making several thousand dollars per mensem. Then, with a sickening thud, the 
callow youth fell from grace ! He considered it rather hard to part with half his 
pelf; he refused to divvy up his money with God ! O the wicked young man ! 
Righteously was he punished ! Down flopped the income to ten dollars a week ! 
Then, with anguish wrinkling his brow, he penitently acknowledged the value of 
a sleeping partner ! Again he resumed paying fifty per cent, upon all his gains to 
the unseen celestial drummer. Forthwith the income rose in geometrical pro- 
gression, doubling itself monthly. With a delirious bang of delight it soon 
reached a fabulous sum ; and quickly the young man and the good Lord became 
multimillionaires ! 

Reader, try the plan ; it never fails But be sure the good Lord gets his fifty 
per cent, commission, otherwise you'll be left in the soup ! 



She —There are some people who use religion simply as a cloak. He — I 
know it. She— What will they do in the next world, do you think? He— Oh, 
they won't need any cloak there. 



SECULAK THOUGHT. 119 



InQcraoU, tbe leioquent '' pagan;' 

:o: 

[The following appeared as an editorial in the Quincy, 111., Daily Journal^ and 
is from the pen of B. F. Underwood, editorial writer for that newspaper.] 

During more than two decades Robert G. IngersoU, of whom Henry Ward 
Beecher said that he was " the most brilliant speaker of the English tongue of 
all men upon this globe," was the most familiar and picture-que figure upon the 
American j)]atform. No other speaker could draw such crowds as he. The 
capacity of the largest halls in our great cities was insufficient to accommodate 
the people who were anxious, at a dollar a head, to hear the eloquent " pagan.'* 
Caustic, as well as eloquent, in his criticism of religious beliefs, and of the 
clerical profession, his views and even his personal characteristics became 
legitimate subjects for discussion by the clergy. But his criticisms were largely 
criticisms not so much of current beliefs as of dogma"?, formulated in the old 
creeds, but practically outgrown by the people, who had long been ready for that 
revision of the articles of faith which is now going on. When the clergy said, 
" We do not believe these things now," IngersoU triumphantly quoted from the 
written creeds and thereby put into an awkward position his antagonists, who 
were not permitted to repudiate specifically with their tongues what they utterly 
disbelieved in their hearts. The annou cement lately that a minister of this city 
wou'd reply to the *' infidelity " of Col. IngersoU, which seems like a sound from 
the past, suggests some remarks as to the views and methods of the distinguished 
heretic. 

IngersoU was, by temperament, a partizan. His mind was not judicial With 
him one side was all right and the other side was all wrong. He was a great 
rhetorician, word-painter, prose-poec and orator, rather than a great thinker. He 
was too often loose in his statements, and with him amusing illustrations, hyper- 
bole and byplays of fancy and sentiment, were frequently more conspicuous than 
real argument. While it cannot be claimed that he made any thought contribu- 
tions to religious discussion, he certainly enlivened it with a wit and eloquence 
that were all his own. He had a wonderful sense of the ludicrous and of the 
grotesque, and the character of certain dogmas sacred to many only excited his 
merriment and called forth his ridicule. His views were sometimes only surface 
views, but he presented them in a way that was original, which held the attention 
of the crowd. He touched the feelings of his hearers, for he was himself full of 
emotion, and excited sympathy or aroused indignation and contempt, where 
others had appealed to the intellect, and had tried to impress the understanding. 

IngersoU's mind was more intuitive than formally logical, and he did not care 
to be tied down to exact statements or to close reasoning. He was discursive, 
and could not easily be confined strictly to a given line of thought. His 
"infidelity" was that of the eighteenth century. He early read Voltaire, 



120 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

Helvetius and Paine, and from them he took such arguments and objections as 
impressed him most, and presented them in his own unique way. such as was 
never used before, thus stamping them with his own individuality. 

The conception of evolution, unfortunately, did not enter into the formation 
of his views. Early in the seventies he argued with the writer of this article 
(who knew him well for a third of a century) against Darwin's conclusions. Later 
he accepted them in a general way, but his acceptance of evolution was too late, 
and it was too little assimilated by him to infuse his mind with the reconciliative 
spirit or to make him see the importance of constructive over merely critical and 
negative thought. 

He could not understand and did not appreciate thinkers like Herbert Spencer. 
Their philosophical thought was too abstract and complex for him to grasp. 
Kant and John Stuart Mill were above him, in the province of abstract thinking, 
and attempts to read them only resulted in contempt for their " metaphysics." 
Ingersoll's lectures, however, were not for this reason any less admired by most 
of his hearers, for his audiences were for the most part made up of persons at- 
tracted by the popular qualities of the orator. 

If Ingersoll's mind had been more reverent, more constructive, and more 
thoroughly modern, he would have commanded the attention of a higher class, 
intellectually, but he would have been less attractive to the crowds whom he 
convulsed with laughter by his anecdotes and stories, and melted to tears by his 
pathos and touching descriptions of sorrow and suffering. His dogmatism, 
which was equal to that of any preacher, added to his popularity, for the people 
like to have their favorite speakers, as well as their family doctors, always speak 
with confidence and certainty of things doubtful, as well as of things known. 

After all the criticism of Ingersoll that may be made, it must be admitted that 
he voiced many truths which needed to be spoken, and in a most forceful and 
effective manner. In Ingersoll's writings are numerous prose-poems not surpassed 
in English literature, many of them being replete with the finest thought and 
marked by unsurpassed beauty of expression. 

Ingersoll did good work in vindicating the right of free discussion He helped 
to make people more forbearing and more tolerant. He contributed to the 
work of intellectual liberty and intellectual hospitality. 

He set an example of intellectual honesty and of moral courage. He uttered 
his views in his own way, when, by listening to the advice of well-meaning friends 
not to do so, he could easily have been governor of Illinois. Later, Garfield was 
dissuaded from appointing him minister to Berlin by those who were opposed to 
his religious attitude. If the time needed men with the courage of their 
convictions, then Ingersoll did useful work in giving to the world a splendid 
•example of loyalty to one's own self, where bowing at the shrine of expediency is 
the common rule. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 121 

In politics, as well as in religion, Ingerso'l was one-sided, and his speeches 
were usually those of an undiscriminating partizm. Yet the re[)ublicans were 
glad to avail themselves of this kind of political advocacy. Indeed, it has been 
common in most popular contests. Ingersoll was a product of the generations 
that preceded him, as well as of his environment. He was exceptional, not in 
his spirit and methods, but in the genius and eloquence which made him illus- 
trious and which, in his case, fixed attention upon intellectual defects which are 
the rule. 

Personally, Ingersoll was a man of most attractive qualities, a devoted husband 
and father, a loyal friend, a patriotic citizen, a genial companion, a generous, 
large-hearted man He was, in his way, the greatest genius that this country has 
produced, but his limitations were as marked as were his exceptional gifts. 

Col. Clark Carr, in his " lUini," Speaks of Ingersoll as "the greatest of 
American orators," and adds : "Nj man can estimate the power and influence 
of Ingersoll in arousing the American people to a sense of their solemn responsi- 
bility when the war came upon them, or in awakening them to a sense of jus. ice 
and the proper appreciation of the rights of men. One must have heard him 
before a great audience, in the open air, as we, in Illinois, often did, to appreciate 
his great power. Every emotion of his sou), every pulsation of his heart, was 
for his country and liberty. And no other man has ever been able in so high a 
degree to inspire others with the sentiments that animated him. No just history 
of Illinois can be written without placing high upon the scroll of fame the name 
of Robert G. Ingersoll." 



CORRESPONDENCE 



"WORKED UP TO A STA'i E OF MIND." 
Editor Secular Thought. 

Sir, — I see you are working yourself up to a state of mind over the school 
question in the North West — as though there were not any number of greater 
anomalies and injustices in our polit'cal and social affairs nearer home better 
worth your attention. As a matter of principle I, of course, believe in secular 
education, but as we can't have it, do not see the fairness of compelling Catholics 
to send their children to schools where there is more or less of di>tinctively 
Protestant teaching. Moreover, there is another phase of the question which 
you have singularly overlooked. Our public schools are hotbeds of Imperialism 
and flag-worship, with their military drills, celebrations of battle anniversaries 
and exhortations to loyalty to the piratical and plunder-grabbing Empire. There 
is little or none of this in the Catholic schools. If children must be taught to 
worship anything, it is better that they should adore the Virgin Mary or Mr. 
Sarto of Rome than prostrate themselves before the great god Jingo or the flag 
that is the emblem of class and caste rule at home and pillage and spoliation 
abroad. 



122 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



Tne great danger to such measure of liberty as we possess— not much to boast 
of — is Imperialism, and any counteracting influence is warmly to be welcomed. 
1 was therefore heartily rejoiced when the Government showed its subserviency to 
French influence by delivering the stunning slap in the face to the fanatical 
Orange jingo and loyalist element involved in the proposed legislation. 1 am 
under no illusion as to Laurier and his followers, however, and fully realize the 
hypocrisy and lack of principle among the politicians, both Grit and Tory, who 
are simply doing in this matter what they must do to hold their jobs. 

All the same, this latest indication of a solid Quebec and an Ontario honey- 
combed with subserviency to the increasingly influential French vote is auspicious 
of a turn in the tide so far as Imperialism is concerned. What folly it is to expect 
politicians or editors who are the creatures and flunkeys of capitalism to heed the 
squeals and shrieks of papers like the Teles^ram and other fanatics, when tbeir 
whole lives have been spent in the balancing of chances to see how they could 
secure most votes or the biggest returns ! How can anybody expect sacrifice for 
principle — whether the said principle be good or bad— from a gang who had to 
put principle and honor and consistency behind them, as a useless and cumber- 
some burden, before they had even a chance of obtaining the positions they 
occupy ? Phillips Thompson. 

[VVe totally dispute Mr. Thompson's assertion that there are " greater ano- 
malies and injustices, .nearer home," than those of the present education dis- 
pute. In our view, the matter of education is of supreme importance for every 
nation, and the present moment, when a gross injustice is being attempted, is 
the proper and indeed the only available time for action. Whether we are more 
*' worked up to a state of mind " than is Mr. Thompson may be questioned, but 
hi§ letter would seem to show that he is in a very bellicose condition. 

VVe do not deny the existence of many injustices and anomalies among us, 
and one of the most striking we have seen for some time is that of a pretended 
Liberal and noisy advocate of peace becoming delirious because he imagines 
Orangeism has received a "stinging slap in the face" at the hands of a hypocri- 
tical Premier and his Je:5uitical allies. He forgets, perhaps, though Orangemen 
may be fanatics, that he owes much of the liberty he possesses to-day to the 
bigotry and ^ etermination of Orangemen, as well as of others who fought priest- 
crafi in days gone by, and whose services to freedom may again be required if 
wiiat Mr. Thompson himself says be true. 

It may tickle iVIr. Thompson to see a so^lid Catholic Quebec and a corrupt 
Ontario sell Cana la to the Jesuits, because he sees in thai event the decline of 
Imperialism ; but it only shows how, little justified we are in expecting honesty 
or consistency in a man who has once had his fingers in the political pie. It is 
a poor chick that dirties its own nest. According to Mr. Thon)pson, all politi- 
cians are, corrupt self-seekers. Is he the " white hen ?" 

Mr. Thompson is perhaps right in saying that we have not much liberty to 
boast of. Does he think — it would seem so — that the way to increase that little, 
liberty is to increase the power of the Catholic Church in Canada and help it to 
crush out what little education we have been able so far to get ? He says there 
is little or no Imperialism in the Catholic schools, and is satisfied, so long as this 
continues, that the children should be taught to worship the Virgin Mary and 
the Pope. Has he forgotten that but five or six years ago the Quebec Inspectors 
of Schools reported that, beyond learning by rote some prayers and parts of the 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 123 



catechism, there was absolutely no education in most of the Catholic scho'bls ? 
Is this the stata of things he prefers to the conditions in Ontario schools ? 

Mr. Thompson grossly misrepresents the case when he says that it is desired to 
compel Catholics to send their children to Protestant schools. We Freethinkers 
naturally object to all religious teaching in the Public schools, but since 1875 
the Catholics in the Territories have been allowed to have Separate schools, with 
reasonable regulations as to efficiency. The question now is, shall this compro- 
mise, as fair to Catholics as any conceivable one, be allowed to continue, or shall 
Dominion legislation be enacted handing over the schools entirely to the priests,. 
with the right to levy taxes and to demand a full share of the public lands, and 
without any control as to efficiency by the Governments of the new Provinces ? 

Assuming that ail Mr. Thompson says is true, how shall it be changed for the 
belter? Will howling against Imperialism do it? Will it mend matters to de- 
nounce all our political opponents as thieves or to weep because officials do not 
show signs of making "sacrifices for principle?" Is there any other way than 
education and discussion of the principles involved ? We think not And we 
decidedly think that such an intemperate and fanatical letter as that of Mr. 
Thompson, so far from aiding the amelioration of our troubles, wi 1 only disgust 
those whg do not laugh at it. 



"IS THERE INTELLIGENCE IN MATTER?" 
Editor Secular Thought. 

Sir, — Permit me to thank Mr. Maddock for kindly noticing my request, and 
endeavoring to supply the help for which I asked. 

My question might have been belter expressed, Is matter itself intelligent ? 
or is it something else which resides in every atom, and possesses volition or 
will and causes motion of the matter in which it exists ? 

If mind — will — resides in the matter and determines its course, it cannot be 
subject to the first law of motion. VVe know that masses of living matter act 
as though guided by a will. I want to know how this can be if the will is ln 
the matter? If it is, how can the first law of motion be true? Living masses 
of matter seldom move in straight lines. 

I hope we will not drop this subject until we understand each other and it. 

Yours, A. Elvins. 



FOR WOxMAN'S PROGRESS. 
Editor Secular Thought. 

Sir,— I was delighted to see among the resolutions passed at the St. Louis 
Convention one introduced by Moses Harman declaring that ** it is the duty uf 
every rationalist to see that every injustice to and discrimination against women 
is done away with." 

I know that one of the greatest steps that could be taken to aid the progress 
of women would be the destruction of the religious superstitions that enslave 
their minds and hold them to the past and its idols, which also assign them a 
very inferior position ; and priests, ministers, and rabbis are those who most 
oppose their advancement. 

But I have hopes that the F'reethought papers will give some small space to 
women's economic and personal freedom, as would seem likely from ihe resolu- 
tion passed at the convention. 



124 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



This advance of women is the one great need of Freethought, since women 
form two-thirds of the church attendance, and it is only 'their lack of opportunity 
and development that holds them there. Jt is the women, too, who drive the 
children into the churches. Sincerely, Catherine Regan. 



MISCELLANEOUS. 



THE MYSTERY OF THE SPHINX. 

The greatest mystery of Egypt has at length been solved, it is said, through 
the exertions of Colonel Ram, the well-known antiquarian. The great image has 
fallen from its height of mighty mysteriousness, to be shown by unassailable 
proof to be nothing but a colossal portrait of Ra-Harmachis, which, as god of 
the morning and conqueror of darkness, faces the rising sun. 

Col. Ram, whose discovery has now made him world famous, has been for 
sometime past making excavations around the sphinx, but not until recently did 
he succeed in finally uncovering the foundations of the great statue and bringing 
to light many interesting features which were previously unknown. 

Col. Ram, while he has removed this fascinating veil, has supplied the Sphinx 
with a history the interest of which quite makes up for the loss of the mystery. 

Among the heretofore unknown features of the stone figure which he has just 
brought t ) light is the tem|4e surrounding the base, which was intended for the 
worship of Harmachis, and several chambers, hewn in the rock, which were the 
tombs of kings and prie=;ts devoted to his worship. 

Col. Ram has already discovered a stone cap with a sacred asp carved on the 
forehead, which once covered the head of the Sphinx like a royal helmet, and 
must have added to its grandeur, particularly if it was gilded, as the colonel 
believes. 

The Sphinx is not a monolith. The body and head are actually hewn out of 
the solid rock, but much sandstone masonry was built in to make the outlines 
perfect and cover defects in the material. This re-enforcement of the original 
rock is apparent now to a close observer, but originally they were concealed, for 
scientists believe the entire image was once covered with enamel. Indeed, it is 
yet possible to find fragments still adhering to the surface which resemble the 
porcelain tiles found in tombs and the ruins of ancient palaces. 

Several private collections and some museums have large blocks of most 
brilliant coloring and artistic design, from which it can be imagined what an im- 
posing spectacle the great statue must have been before the Persians and 
-Mohammedans destroyed its glory. 



A REBUFF FOR SUNDAY OBSERVANCEITES. 

On Feb. 27th, the Supreme Court of Canada at Ottawa handed down a deci- 
sion on the draft bill which had l)een submitted to the court on the authority of 
the S ibbatarian party. The decision declares that the Provinces have not the 
power to adopt such legislation ; one judge, Idington, dissented on some points. 
On a number of additional questions the court as a whole declined to give any 
opinion. One of these questions related to the power of a Province to pass 
& law prohibiting all Sunday work " except works of mercy and necessity." 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 125 



SIMPLON TUNNEL PIERCED. 

Gondo, Switzerlan^l, Feb. 24. — Piercing of the Simplon tunnel through the 
Alps was completed at 7.20 o'clock this morning. The work was commenced 
in 1898. The meeting of the two boring pirties (Swiss and Italian) was signalled 
throughout Switzerland by ringing of ciuirch bells and salutes by cannci. Many 
unexpected obstacles were encountered, the most s( rious being hot springs 
which threatened to wreck the whole enterprise, and a temperature which at one 
time rose to 131 degrees Fahrenheit, making a continuance of the work impossible 
until the engineers found means of cooling the atmosphere. Now that the borers 
have met it will enable the water accumu'ation in the north gallery to be drawn 
off The work of preparing the tunnel for a permanent way will be pushed as 
rai)idly as possible, and it is hoped to inaugurate the tunnel about March 20th. 
'I'he length of tSe Simplon tunnel from Briga, in Switzerland, to Iselle, on the 
Italian side of the mountain, is about 12 miles. The Swiss and Italian govern- 
ments have jointly financed the undertaking at the cost of $15,000,000. I'he 
piercing of the Simplon is regarded as one of the greatest engineering achieve- 
ments of the age. 



PERFECT IN KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM. 
Mr. Ambrose S. Ottley, an aged blacksmith, of Cecil County, in the State of 
Maryland, U.S. A , has accomplished a feat which probably has never been [)er- 
formed by anyone else in the world. For over thiity-five years he has been 
systematically reading his Bible through and through fr )m beginning to end. He 
has completed his iiyih perusal of the s icred book and started again. 



NOTHING FREE. 
Nothing is free ! A poll tax do we pay 

Even for the air we breathe. Religion ? No ! 

Bethink you of collection plates that go 
Adown the aisles ! In Java and Cathay 
,Th' expensive heathen who the better way 

Seek only at our cost ! The free lunch ? Though 

Apparently 'tis free, yet, seeker, know, 
The drink you buy includes the whole outlay ! 

Nor here nor anywhere are things quite fr?e. 
The freest manner has its slight reserve ; 
Nor ever is this awful rule relaxed. 
Seek the wide forest, there alone to be, 

To thought of man ne'er for a moment swerve, 
And find that e'en your enemies are taxed ! 
■New Orleans Times Democrat. 



A certain laborer once asked a country clergyman to write a letter for him to 
a duke, from whom he wished to obtain aid. *' Ikil you ought to go yourself 
and see his grace,'' said the clergyman. " I would, sir," was the nervous answer, 
** but, you see, I don't like to speak to the duke. He may be too proud to listen 
to the likes of me. I can talk to you well enough, sir ; there's nothing of the 
gentleman about you." 



126 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



ONE FOR HIS REVERENCE. 

" What is the opposite of a spendthrift ? " inquired the school inspector. No 
answer. " Well, what would you call a man who sends you on errands and gives 
you nothing for going ? " " Parson, sir," said the show boy of the class. Con- 
fusion of local clergyman, who was present, and had gained a reputation for 
close-fistedness. 



** Freak " religion has claimed another victim. Believing that the millennium 
was near, and that she had received a divine call to ofifer herself as a sacrifice. 
Miss Frances Wakley in Chicago a few days ago poured oil over her clothing and 
the pile of torn books and papers in which she stood, and set the whole on fire. 



Sunday School Teacher — " Now, Willie, how many commandments are there ? " 
Willie — '* Dere wuz ten last Sunday, but Jake broke one, so 1 s'pose dere's nine 



Two Irishmen who had not seen each other for a long time met at a fair. 
O'Brien — " Shure, it's married I am, an' I've got a fine healthy boy, which the 
neighbors say is the very picter of me." Malone — " Och, well, what's the harrum 
so long as the child's healthy ? " 



Lady — "Why don't you go to work? Don't you know that a rolling stone 
gathers no moss ? " The Tramp — " Madame, not to evade your question at all, 
but merely to obtain information, may I ask what practical utility moss is to a 
man in my condition ? " 



" John," said the Vicar to his man-servant, " are you a Christian ? " *' Why- 
or-yes, sir, I think so." " Do you ever swear, John ? " " Well, sir, sometimes I 
am a little careless like in my talk." " I am deeply grieved, John," said his 
pious master. " But we will converse about this some other time. For the pre- 
sent, I wish you'd take this money and go and settle this plumber's bill for burst 
pipes — and. John, talk to the plumber in a careless kind of a way as if it were 
your own bill." 



In a weaver's shop in Paisley a discussion arose regarding the revolution of 
the earth. One of the weavers, who understood a little of the subject, was en- 
deavoring to explain the motion to his shopmates with the oracular gravity of a 
person in whom all knowledge centred. One of the men, who had very dim 
notions on the laws of gravitation, struck in thus : 

" Man, Wull," he exclaimed, " ye may baud yer tongue, for ye may as well tell 
me that a soo can flee. The warld gang roond ! Lud, ye wud hae fowk to be 
as silly as Rab Patterson, who went to the tap o' Gleniffer braes to see America. 
Look here, Wull. It's seven an' forty years since I sat down at this loom, an' 
my face was then to Laird Martin's gavel. Noo, if the warld has been aye gaun 
roon\ as ye say it is, whaur, I wonder, wad I be by this time ? " 



A boy was told to go to the blackboard and write a sentence with the words 
" bitter end " in it. This is what he wrote : " A dog ran into the yard after a 
cat and he bitter end." 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 127 



WHAT MIGHT BE DONE! 

What might be done if men were wise ! 
What glorious deeds, my suffering brother ; 
Did they unite in love and right, 
Ahd cease their strife with one another. 

Oppression's heart might be imbued 
With kindling drops of loving kindness. 
And knowledge pour from shore to shore 
Light on the eyes of mental blindness. 

The meanest wretch that ever trod, 
The deepest sunk in guilt and sorrow, 
Might stand erect in self respect 
And share this teeming earth to-morrow. 

All slavery, suffering, lies and wrong, 
All vice and crime might die together, 
And wine and corn to each man born 
Be free as warmth in sunny weather. 

What might be done? This might be done ! 
And more than this, my suffering brother ; 
More than the tongue e'er said or sung, 
If men were wise and loved each other. 

— Charles Mackay 



In a city not a hundred miles from Dundee an American stepped up to the 
elder at the church door and said : " What's the admission to this here show, 
stranger?" " No charge for admission, sir," replied the elder ; *' this is a church." 
" Wall, for a free show there don't seem to be much of a rush," said the Yankee, 
as he took a seat in a pew. 



A beetle was lately depicting, before a deeply ir>terested audience, the alarming 
increase in intemperance, when he astonished his hearers by exclaiming : " A 
young woman in my neighborhood died very suddenly last Sabbath, while I was 
preaching the Gospel, in a state of beastly intoxication." 

'• De trouble wid de average man," said Uncle Eben, " is dat when he has 
three meals a day an' a warm fire, he can't see why ev'rybody else shouldn't be 
contented." 



*' Pooh ! I don't believe in Valentine's Day T" " Oo-ooo-ooh ! you wicked 
boy ! I'm a-goin' to tell your Sunday school teacher on you ! " 

A lady entered a railway station not a hundred miles from Edinburgh the 
other day, and said she wanted a ticket for London. The pale-looking clerk 
asked, " Single ? " " It ain't any of your business," she replied. *' I might have 
been married a dozen times if I'd felt like providin' for some poor shiftless wreck, 
of a man like you." 



128 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 



■iSligiilii^ 



iD^lSlfgJ In the press, and will be published shortly, 

NTSSIA. 



an ©lb MorlC) ©tor?. 




By M. C. O'BYRNE, 

:lnfhor of " Song of the !4ges and Other Poems,' 
151^^1 " Love and Labor r 



Upon This Rock; 



TORONTO, CANADA : 

C. M. Ellis, Printer and Publisher, 185K Queen St. West. 





In this work, Mr. O' Byrne has woven an 
old-world story into a poem of intense in- 
terest and of wonderful grace and power. 

We think that since the days when *' The 
Corsair,'' ^'The Giaour," ^'The Cenci," 
and their companion works startled and 
delighted a world of critics, there has not 
appeared a poem the equal of Mr. O' Byrne's 
new work. 

*^ Nyssia " forms a neat volume of about 
90 pages post 8vo. ; it is printed with new 
type on heavy paper, and will be handsomely 
bound in blue cloth with gold lettering, 
price $1.00, post free; an edition in heavy 
paper wrapper will be issued, price 60c. 



SEC UL AE THOUGHT 

A Fortnightly Journal of Rational Criticism in 
Politics, Science, and Religion. 

J. S. ELLIS, Editor. NEW SERIES. C. fl. ELLIS, Bus. Mgr. 

Vol. XXXI. No. 5. TORONTO, MARCH 18,1905. loc; $2 per ann. 

Hri0totle'6 Evolution* 

:o: 

Nature passes so gradually from inanimate to animate things, 
that from their continuity their boundary and the intermediate 
forms are indistinct or indeterminate. The race of plants suc- 
ceeds immediately that of inanimate objects, and these differ 
from each other in the proportion of life in which they partici- 
pate ; for compared with other objects they appear to possess 
life, yet when compared with animals they appear inanimate. 
The change from plants to animals, however, is gradual, as 
I before observed. For a person might question to which of 
these classes some marine objects belong ; for many of them 
are attached to the rock, and perish as soon as they are sepa- 
rated from it. The pinnae (mollusk) are attached to the rocks, 
the solens (shell-fish) cannot live after they are taken away 
from their localities ; and, on the whole, all the testacea re- 
semble plants, if we compare them with locomotive animals. 
Some of them appear to have no sensation ; in others it is 
very dull. The body of some of them is naturally flesh-like, 
as in those called tethides (gastropod) ; and the medusae and 
the sponges entirely resemble plants. The progress is always 
gradual by which one appears to have more life and motion 
than another. — Aristotle (History of Animals^ translated by 
Cresswell). 

[This and the following passages from the able work by Prof. Oslx^rn, Columbia 
University, " From the Greeks to Darwin," are quoted from " Ethi.cs of the 
Greek Philosophers," by Prof. James H. Hyslop, Columbia University.] 

With Aristotle (384-322 b.c.) we enter a new world. He 
lowered above his predecessors, and by the force of his own 
genius created Natural History. In his own words, quoted 



130 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

lately by Romanes, we learn that the centuries preceding him 
yielded him nothing but vague speculation : 

** I found no basis prepared, no models to copy. . . .Mine is 
the first step, and therefore a small one, though worked out 
with much thought and hard labor. It must be looked at as 
a first step and judged with indulgence. You, my readers or 
hearers of my lectures, if you think I have done as much as 
can fairly be required for an initiatory start, as compared with 
more advanced departments of theory, will acknowledge what 
I have achieved and pardon what I have left for others to 
accomplish.". ... 

He was attracted to natural history by his boyhood life upon 
the seashore, and the main parts of his ideas upon Evolution 
were evidently drawn from his own observations upon the gra- 
dations between marine plants and the lower and higher forms 
of marine animals. He was the first to conceive of a genetic 
series, and his conception of a single chain of evolution from 
the polyps to man was never fully replaced until the beginning 
of this [19th] century. It appeared over and over again in 
different guises. In all his philosophy of Nature, Aristotle 
was guided partly by his preconceived opinions derived from 
Plato and Socrates, and partly by convictions derived from his 
own observations upon the wonderful order and perfection of 
the universe. His ^* perfecting principle" in Nature is only 
one of a score of his legacies to later speculations upon Evo- 
lution causation. Many of our later writers are Aristotelians 
without apparently being conscious of it 

We can pass leniently by errors which are strewn among 
such grand contributions to biology and to the very founda- 
tion stones of the Evolution idea 

While Plato had relied upon intuitions as the main ground 
of true knowledge, Aristotle relied upon experiment and in- 
duction. ** We must not," he said, '* accept a general prin- 
ciple from logic only, but must prove its application to each 
fact ; for it is in facts that we must seek general principles, 
and these must always accord with facts. Experience furnishes 
the particular facts from which induction is the pathway to 
general laws." (Hist, Animals^ i. 6.) He held that errors do 
not arise because the senses are false media, but because we 
put false interpretations upon their testimony 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 131 



Aristotle's theories as to the origin and succession' of life 
went far beyond what he could have reached "by the legitimate 
application of his professed method of procedure 

Aristotle believed in a complete gradation in Nature, a pro- 
gressive development corresponding with the progressive life 
of the soul. Nature, he says, proceeds constantly by the aid 
of gradual transitions from the most imperfect to the most 
perfect, while the numerous analogies which we find in the 
various parts of the animal scale show that all is governed by 
the same laws ; in other words. Nature is a unit as to its 
causation. The lowest stage is the inorganic, and this passes 
into the organic by direct metamorphosis, matter being trans- 
formed into life. Plants are animate as compared with mine- 
rals, and inanimate as compared with animals ; they have 
powers of nourishment and reproduction, but no feeling or 
sensibility. Then come the plant-animals, or Zoophytes: these 
are the marine creatures, such as sponges and sea anemones, 
which leave the observer most in doubt, for they grow upon 
rocks and die if detached. . . .The third step taken by Nature 
is the development of animals with sensibility ; hence desire 
for food and other needs of life, and hence locomotion to fulfil 
those desires. Here was a more complex and energetic form 
of the original life. Man is the highest point of one long and 
continuous ascent. Other animals have the faculty of thought; 
man alone generalizes and forms abstractions ; he is physically 
superior in his erect position, in his purest and largest blood 
supply, largest brain, and highest temperature 

These passages seem to contain absolute evidence that Aris- 
totle had substantially the modern conception of the evolution 
of life, from a primordial soft mass of living matter to the most 
perfect forms, and that even in these he believed Evolution was 
incomplete, for they were progressing to higher forms. His 
argument of the analogy between the operation of natural law 
rather than of chance, in the lifeless and in the living world, is 
a perfectly logical one, and his consequent rejection of the 
hypothesis oi the Survival of the Fittest a sound induction 
from his own limited knowledge of Nature. It seems per- 
fectly clear that he placed all under secondary natural laws. 
If he had accepted Empedocles' hypothesis, he would have 
been the literal prophet of Darwinism. — Prof. Osborn. 



132 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



EDITORIALS 



" CHRIST AND Ef the God Idea is an inscrutable mystery of 

HIM CRUCIFIED." unreason in a civilized age, what are we to say 
to the idea of " Christ ?" It seems easy to trace 
the development of supernaturalism from barbarous fetichism to mono- 
theism, by a process of elimination of the more obvious crudities of 
idolatry, owing to the increasing intelligence of mankind ; but how shall 
we account for the development of the ultra-irrational Christ Idea out 
of the story of Jesus ? Whether Jesus ever lived or not does not con- 
cern us here. The fact w^e have to start with is the undoubted one that 
in early Christian times the prevalent idea of Jesus was that he was 
simply a great teacher, a prophet, a messiah, it may be, but a man with 
a divine message, yet still essentially a man. The Arian heresy seems, 
indeed, to have been the common belief in the early Christian church, 
and only to have been reduced from that position by the persecutions 
of its vindictive and active opponents. At an epoch when literature and 
general intelligence had made much progress — the Augustan Age and 
the immediately succeeding centuries — when men had learnt to laugh at 
the family relationships of the gods, it seems almost inexplicable that a 
new Holy Family should have been able to secure the reverence and 
worship of the Western world. 

It is an added mystery, too, that the extravagant and unnatural pre- 
tensions of this new Holy Family were not only put forward in a com- 
paratively intelligent age, but that its absurdities — not overlooked and 
accepted merely on the authority of the priests — were freely canvassed 
and exposed by intelligent disputants, comprising many of the leading 
men in the church. The difiSculties of the Virgin Birth and the other 
mysteries of the Trinity were as clearly seen then as they are seen in 
our day, and yet for nineteen centuries, through every phase of mental 
progress, they have been accepted as " gospel truth " by an overwhelm- 
ing portion of Christendom. 

The Higher Critics bring reason to bear upon the difficulties of the 
older portions of the Bible, but they seldom allow their reason to inter- 
fere with their professed belief in a Divine Man or a Man-God who i& 
at once a lineal descendant of David and the son of a married virgin* 
and a ghost, though "the man Christ Jesus " is a familiar phrase in the: 
Kew Testament- 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 133 



The facts seem to show that these religious mysteries that appear so 
incomprehensible are the result of the still defective development of the 
human mind. We hear men laugh at ancient Papias for wishing there 
were even more unbelievable things in the Scriptures, so that he might 
have the more credit for believing them, but in reality Papias's philo- 
sophy is ihe philosophy of the mass of Christians to-day. Belief is the 
foundation of all religious or moral merit, no matter whether the dogma 
propounded be believable or not, and unless a man professes belief in 
the supernatural character of Jesus he is anathema, notwithstanding 
the manifest fact that, while much of the alleged teaching of Jesus is 
ethically defective, there is not a sentence in the whole of it that is not 
equalled or surpassed by similar teachings by more ancient men. 

" CHRIST-LIKE A good sample of one of the present-day views of 

SELF-SACRIFICE" "Christ" was given by Rev. Harlan P. Beach, 
AT WVCLIFFE educational secretary of the Students' Volunteer 

COLLEGE. Movement, who came from New York a week or 

two ago to lecture to the professors and students 
of Wycliffe College, Toronto. His text was the sneer of the Jews at the 
crucifixion — '' He saved others ; himself he cannot save." And Mr. 
Harlan's enthusiasm led him to utter these sentiments : 

" No other great leader of thought, no founder of other religious sys- 
tems could compare with the Christian's Savior in answering all the 
needs of men. And Christ's saving power found its very highest influ- 
ence in his vicarious sacrifice. He had sacrificed the glory of heaven 
and borne the sorrows of all human conditions, had suffered hunger and 
thirst and weariness in their most agonizing forms. He had suffered the 
misunderstandings of those for whom he had lived and for whom he gave 
himself ; he had suffered the supreme agony of the cross. So, too, in 
the history of all the world's great forward movements, final victory had 
rested in the influence of the devotion shown by the men who gave up 
their lives for their fellow-men. Missionary history in China and Japan 
evidenced the truth of the Chinese inscription placed over the graves of 
the devoted men who chose death rather than renounce their faith : 
* They sowed their bodies and reaped life.' " 

Now, there is not a sentence in this rigmarole of rubbish concerning 
** Christ " that should not make an intelligent man blush for uttering it. 
How, in the name of common sense, a sane man can say that Christ's 
teachings ** answer all the needs of man," when at this very moment, 
nineteen centuries after their alleged promulgation, the Christian world 



134 SECULAK THOUGHT. 

itself is full of poverty, disease, war, revolution, crime, and vice, is one 
of those mysteries that hafifle explanation. 

Even supposing that the alleged "vicarious sacrifice" of Jesus were 
a legitimate ethical factor, will Mr. Beach tell us what it has saved the 
world from or what human needs it has met ? 

Supposing that Jesus (not " Christ ") did "sacrifice the glories of 
heaven," — it was only for a few years, after all, and as he was able to 
perform miracles, it is clear that he retained the power if he gave up 
the glory ; tliat is, he retained the eub&tance if for a time he abandoned 
the frills, — what absurd nonsense it is to allege that he " bore the sor- 
rows oi all human conditions." Taking the story at its best, there is 
no pretence that Jesus ever suffered any punishment but scourging and 
crucifixion, both of which had been and since then have been suffered 
by myriads of other men, many of whom have suffered unspeakable 
tortures in addition. And if it be said that he was an innocent person, 
and that consequently his agony was all the greater, then we can only 
reply that millions of other innocent persons have been punished, but, 
as Jesus is alleged to have been a miraculously endowed man, he was 
well able to bear more punishment than a mere man. Of what use is 
divine power if it does not enable its possessor to stop a toothache *? 

The fact is, that most of the martyrs for opinion's sake have been at 
least as innocent as Jesus, and bore their sufferings without screaming 
out — as a mark of lost faith — " My God ! my God ! why hast thou for- 
saken me ? " 

Mr. Beach's sermon illustrates the fact we have already referred to — 
that even among cultivated preachers the belief in the paradoxical doc- 
trines connected with the Christ Idea is still strong. For them, the 
universality of natural law is but a meaningless phrase when they open 
the Bible and preach " the truth as it is in Jesus." However foolish 
when viewed from a rational point of view, every sentence of their fetish 
becomes a marvel of wisdom when seen through religious spectacles, 

THE GREAT -'Eevivalism " has been a marked feature of the 

TORREY AND Christian religiou for the past half-century. Not 

ALEXANDER " RE- that this period has seen the beginning of revivals 
VIVAL" IN LONDON, in religion, for with Huss, Luther, Calvin, Knox, 
Fox, Wesley, Whitfield, and a host of other en- 
thusiasts and fanatics^ there has been a succession of waves of religious 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 135 

excitement all over Europe since the days of the Crusades. But during 
the last half-century Revivalism has been reduced to a business — and a 
remarkably well-paying business too. 

This latter fact is in our opinion one of the most important signs in 
the whole business, and really proves the small advance in rational 
thought that has been made by the bulk of the people. For, whatever 
changes there may have been in the theological creeds and dogmas held 
by some schools, it is perfectly true, we think, that people w^ill not pay 
for an agency which they think is useless or fraudulent ; and the leading 
features of every revival of which we have any knowledge have always 
been the same — (1) an attempt to rehabilitate the supposedly discredited 
or neglected dogmas ; and (2) a vicious attack upon both the good faith 
and the morality of all opponents, more especially the unbelievers, the 
atheists, or the " infidel." The conclusion forced upon us is, that the 
people support the revivalists because they really believe the old faith. 
** Cash talks," it is said, and the revivalists invariably make a big haul 
— such a big haul, indeed, that sometimes the regular preachers com- 
plain that their own collections suffer. 

It seems strangely absurd that, while both America and Britain send 
out large numbers of missionaries to convert the unwilling heathen, the 
supposedly Christian nations are so full of immorality and crime, that 
these revival fakers are always able to justify their missions by pointing 
to these evils and attributing them to unbelief. And it is equally ludi- 
crous to find the last revival faker, ignoring the many revivalists who 
have preceded him, pretending to find the work more urgently needed 
than ever, and promising a wonderful success — if only the needed cash 
is forthcoming. 

Just now, one of the biggest of these revival schemes is going on in 
London, England. Torrey and Alexander — these travelling fakers almost 
always hunt in pairs, a preacher and a singer or a talker and a buffoon, 
like Moody and Sankey, Jones and Small, etc. — are running a revival at 
the great Albert Hall, and show us all the features of the business in 
the clearest fashion. They demanded a sum of i^l7,000 ($85,000) to 
start the game, and for this sum promised that a big stride towards the 
** conversion" of London to Christianity should be made. 

It is a matter of certainty that the good effect of the revival, should 
there be any, will be imperceptible in the great metropolis ; for it is as 
certain as anything can be that the bulk of those who go to hear the 
pair will be of the class who are already supposed to be Christians, f his 



136 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

is always the case. And some clergymen have already recognized some 
of Torrey's alleged *' converts " as full-fledged members of their own 
congregations ! 

It is, indeed, hardly, to be expected that a very large number of non- 
Christians should attend Torrey's meetings, for much of his talk is of 
the old-style anti-infidel character, in which he denounces " the atheist " 
as all that is immoral and vile. In an announcement in the London 
Daily Chronicle, Torrey asserts that " unbelief is rampant " in London, 
in spite of many revivals during the las't thirty years. His assumption 
is that revivals have a moral tendency, but his facts seem to prove the 
reverse of this. He asserts that, '* Hand in hand with this wide-spread 
infidelity has gone gross immorality, as has always been the case ;" but 
if the immorality has become wide-spread while the revivals have been 
going on, we might more reasonably attribute it to the revivals, which 
we know there have been, than to the infidelity, about which we can 
only guess. 

Every fake revivalist makes the same set of stereotyped assertions on 
this subject, and if the ordinary Christians were keen-witted enough to 
demand proof for them, they would soon find out that no such proof 
could be given ; they would find out, indeed, that the revivalist was just 
"working" them for what cash could be squeezed out of them. 

Crossley and Hunter, and many another pair of religious mounte- 
banks, would gladly undertake to Christianize London, or New York, or 
even Chicago, in a few months, if only $85,000 were collected to begin 
the crusade. Whether they succeeded or not would not matter to them 
if once they grasped the $85,000. When they had to admit failure, they 
could reasonably reply that they were at least no worse than their Mas- 
ter, whose nineteen centuries of failure they were trying to convert into 
success. Perhaps they might have a better chance of success if, like 
Jesus, they showed more indifference to the money-bags. At all events, 
they would have a greater appearance of honesty. 

TORREY'S The announcement published by Torrey in the 

"ANTI-INFIDEL" newspapers concludes with these two alarming 
CRUSADE. paragraphs, which contain at least as much false- 

hood as might be expected from such a man : 

" Unbelief is rampant. Many have regarded it as a mark of intellectual 
superiority to reject the Bible, and even faith in God and immortality. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 187 

Hand in hand with this widespread infidelity has gone gross immoralit}^ 
as has always been the case. Infidelity and immorality are Siamese twins. 
They always exist and always grow and always fatten together. This 
immorality is found in domestic life, in the theatre, in our literature, and 
in our art. Greed for money has become a mania with rich and poor. 
The multi-millionaire will often sell his soul and trample the rights of 
his fellow-men under foot in the mad hope of becoming a billionaire, and 
the laboring man will often commit murder to increase the power of the 
union and keep up wages. Licentiousness lifts its serpent head every- 
where. The moral condition of the world to-day is disgusting, sickening, 
appalling. 

" We need a revival, deep, widespread, general, in the power of the 
Holy Ghost — a revival that means not merely a gathering of a large 
number of alleged converts into the churches and chapels, but a revival 
that means the purifying of the springs of our moral, commercial, social, 
and national life ; a wind from heaven that will drive away the moral 
pestilence that has invaded our atmosphere. We need a revival that will 
bring in true faith in God, in his Word, in the eternal verities. It was 
not discussion, but the breath of God, that relegated Tom Paine, Voltaire, 
Volney, and others of the old infidels to the limbo of forgetfulness ; and 
we need a new breath from God to send the modern infidel propagandist 
to keep them company. Thank God this wind from heaven is beginning 
to blow." ^ 

We wonder how Goldwin Smith appreciates the force of his own argu- 
ment carried out in this fashion. During recent years he has himself 
put forward exactly the same argument. The decline in religious belief, 
he has told us time and again, has led to the modern international im- 
morality which has caused strong nations to attack and crush weak^ 
ones, and has produced the prevailing militarism among all the nations 
of the world. Nothing, in our opinion, could be more fatuous and ill- 
founded. At the best, it is formulating a general principle on a basis of 
but a few instances, and doing this, too, by alleging as facts things that 
cannot by any possibility be regarded as more than mere surmises. At 
the worst — which seems to be onr only alternative — it is a case of totally 
perverting facts and wilfully ignoring manifest factors. It may please 
Goldwin Smith to know that his argument on this matter is practically 
the same as that employed by Sir Wilfrid Laurier in introducing his two 
Autonomy Bills, as well as that used by Torrey. Nice company for a 
philosopher ! 

Torrey's manifesto shows him to be but an ignorant and illiterate cad 
— a re-hash of Talmage, minus the vigor and imagination of the vulgar 
and bombastic old faker. Everything in the world is wrong and out of 



138 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

kelter, and Torrey and Alexander have come as a " breath from God " 
to set things straight. " Greed for money has become a mania with rich 
and poor " — but not with Torrey and Alexander any more than with the 
rest of the greedy fake revivalists. Only raise the £17,000, and " the 
wind from heaven " will begin to blow ! 

And no doubt, like ostriches with their heads in the sand, many Chris- 
tians will believe Torrey when he says that Voltaire, Volney and Paine, 
and "others of the old infidels," are forgotten. It is funny to observe, 
however, what other preachers tell us of these great men. While some 
tell us they have been successfully answered, others tell us that the 
church itself has advanced far beyond them. It depends upon whether 
you are an advanced Christian or a mossback. Intellectually, Torrey is 
one of the latter, but morally he is a fit follower of Eusebius, and says 
just what he thinks will catch the multitude and support his cause. So 
far as we can judge, he amply justifies his own diagnosis of the present 
moral condition of Christendom — that it is " disgusting, sickening, ap- 
palling." We might ask Goldwin Smith, Where shall we find a few of 
those who preach or practise his Vital Christianity ? 

THE ARREST OF The Editor of Lticifer has again been arrested for 
MOSES HARMAN. publishing objectionable matter in his paper. We 
have read some of the articles on " sexology" and 
marriage that have appeared in Lucifer, though we must confess that 
/)ur time is too limited to enable us to do more than occasionally skim 
over its columns, but we feel justified in saying that the arrest of Mr. 
Harman is as gross a piece of injustice as the imprisonment of Charley 
Moore on a charge of advocating '* free love," though he had distinctly 
opposed and denounced it. Mr. Harman is an old man, and has already 
been fined and imprisoned on several occasions on the same charge, 
though there was only one instance, we believe, where an objectionable 
word was used by him. Otherwise, the discussions in Lucifer have not 
exceeded the limits that would be necessary in discussing Mormonism or 
Mahomedanism ; and the general character of them has, in our opinion, 
rather been crude and childish than vicious or obscene. As an example, 
in a recent issue Mr. Harman advocated a system under which married 
couples would occupy, not separate bedrooms, but separate houses in 
different parts of a town, only visiting each other by written application 
or invitation. " Familiarity breeds dislike," was the basis of the idea. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 139 

Every one to his taste, and why not let the suggestion be adopted by 
those who approve it? But why put a man in prison for making the 
suggestion ? 

Comstock should get the President to build a big Asylum for Cranks, 
and give Comstock an unlimited supply of lettres de cachet, so that he 
could send there every man or woman who advocates opinions he disap- 
proves. " The Land of the Brave and the Free" seems rapidly being 
converted into a Land of Cowardly Bigots and Tyrants. 

THE CANADL^N A committee of the Toronto City Council, under 
RAILWAY POLICY. Alderman Geary, is inquiring into the best plan 
of dealing with the question of the level railway 
crossings within the city limits. A conference was held a week or two 
ago between this committee, the Board of Control, and a deputation from 
the Board of Trade, at which this last body — as might naturally have 
been expected — strongly urged that the citizens should bear a portion 
of the expense of protecting themselves from the dangers introduced by 
the railways at these crossings. 

It is needless to point out that^ under the English system, all railways 
are bound to provide whatever protection is needed, and there never has 
been any question as to their liability to pay the whole cost of whatever 
protection was deemed necessary. It is their business, entered into for 
their exclusive profit ; and the question of public accommodation should 
enter into it no more than it does into the business of a butcher or a 
farmer. 

Still, the consideration of public accommodation has been allowed 
to enter so far into the bargain with the railways, that most exceptional 
privileges have been granted to them on this ground — privileges which 
have been most unjustly exercised in the pending expropriation of land 
for railway purposes in Toronto. 

But in Canada, by means of *' blufif" and false representations of the 
most flagrant kind, not only have private and municipal rights been vio- 
lated in the most outrageous fashion, but, as a matter of fact, nearly the 
whole of the railways of this country have been built by subsidies given 
by the Dominion and Provincial Governments and the municipalities 
through which the railways passed. Bonuses and land grants have been 
the sources of the wealth of nearly all the Canadian railway millionaires, 
while their excessive charges for transportation have gone a long way 



140 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



towards ruining the trade of the country, which has expanded in spite 
of them rather than by their assistance. 

The Canadian railways, indeed, have practically been little else than 
a free gift to the ** capitalists " who got in " on the ground floor," and 
whose investments amounted chiefly to the cash needed for douceurs and 
subscriptions to election funds. And now these greedy vampires want 
the public to pay for their protection against the reckless running of the 
railway trains over level crossings on the city streets ! And the chances 
are that our honest city officials will agree to the proposal, though the 
late Railway Commission distinctly decided against the railways. 

It always has been so. It is so easy for aldermen to make friends of 
the railway magnates and agree to give away a few thousand dollars of 
the people's money. The Board of Trade is naturally interested in se- 
curicg the interests of the moneyed men, and they are just the men to 
give sensible advice to honest aldermen. The fact is, with subsidies by 
the Dominion and Provinces, bonuses by Jiunicipalities, land grants, and 
sharing the cost of works for public protection, Canadians have laden 
themselves with an enormous debt, with a gang of capitalists who have 
made their fortunes out of it, and with a cloud of politicians, great and 
small, who seem willing to sell their fellow-men for some small share in 
the rake-off. 

A typical case occurred a few weeks ago, when a deputation waited on 
the Premier at Ottawa, to seek means of relief from the powers acquired 
by the Bell Telephone Co. in Toronto. The Privy Council has decided 
that under Dominion legislation the Bell Company has authority to tear 
up the city streets without authority from city officials. In reply to the 
deputation, Sir Wilfrid Laurier expressed the greatest reverence for 
** vested interests," and said that if the Bell Company had acquired the 
powers complained of, he did not think that there could be any remedy ! 
What outrageous nonsense ! Because a company, by means of careless 
or cunningly-devised legislation, secures manifestly unjust or illegal 
powers, they must be allowed to exercise those powers in perpetuity ! 

SEPARATION OF On the 21st of March the new French Govern- 
CHURCH AND ment's measure for definitively separating the 

STATE IN FRANCE. State from the Church was introduced into the 
Chamber of Deputies. The chief clause provides 
that no public money whatever shall be applied to the maintenance of 
any form of religion. A motion by M. Berry, a Nationalist, to postpone 
consideration of the bill till after the general election was rejected by a 
vote 842 to 40. A majority of 200 rejected Abbe Gayraud's motion to 
refer the matter to a special commission of the various denominations, 
in order to arrange for a mutual separation. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 141 



Dr. flDomerie on tbe Beltef in (5o^♦ 

:o: 

BY CHARLES WATTS. 

:o: 

The works of the late Rev. Dr Moitierie are well worth studying, even by those 
who differ from his views. Clearness of expression, a fair statement of the 
position of his opponents, and a sincere belief in his own convictions pervade 
the whole of his writings. Dr. Momerie held advanced, and in some respects 
unique, ideas upon religious subjects. With the old notions of Christian Theism, 
the inspiration of the Bible, a personal devil, and other orthodox teachings, he 
had no sympathy. Still, he adhered very tenaciously to a phase of Theism 
which, to say the least, was purely imaginary, the coinage of his own fertile 
brain. One of his 1 test productions was a book entitled " Belief in God," 
written for the purpose of justifying the claims of Theism as he understood it. 
It consists of five chapters under the following headings: "The Desire For 
Ood," "Materialism," "Agnosticism," "Supernatural Purpose," and "The Infi- 
nite Personality." The Christian World considers that this book furnishes 
" one of the most brilliant arguments for the Divine existence." Now, it is very 
difficult to discover a reason for this eulogistic commendation, for throughout 
the entire five chapters there is not to be found one solid argument which proves 
the existence of God, while much valuable evidence is adduced showing;^ the 
fallacy of the pretensions urged on behalf of orthodox Theism. Dr. Momerie's 
essay is simply an elaborate criticism of Agnosticism and a metaphysical exam- 
ination of the claims of Materialism, but as to demonstrative proof of the 
existence of God there is none. The Doctor's Theism is purely subjective, 
without any sanction in objective reality. 

Moreover, his allegations, like his criticisms, are too general to be of evidential 
value to any particular phase of Theism. For instance, he speaks of the 
*' universality of the religious sentiment," overlooking the fact that, even if it 
were true, it would not prove that his belief in God was a " logical necessity," 
for, as he says, " men have frequently imagined their Gods to be merely magnified 
copies of themselves." He also admits that the " general desire for God " would 
not prove his existence, but it would, he asserts, establish a very strong presump- 
tion in favor of the belief in such a Being. He further says : " Even when the 
belief in God has given way before destructive criticism,, the desire for God, as 
a rule, persistently remains." Th's, however, affords no proof that Theism is 
true, for numerous instances could be cited showing that man desires many 
things which in all probability he will never obtain. No doubt it would be 
gratifying to believe in a God if he were a kind, loving father, possessing the 
power and will to supply his children with that which is necessary to promote 
their physical, moral and social comfort. But the question is, Have we grounds 



142 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

for believing that such a Being exists ? My answer is in the negative. So far as 
man's physical organization is concerned, Dr. Momerie admits that the rudimen- 
tary or abortive organs found in human beings *• are frequently a source of 
mischief." It is also an undisputed fact that there are thousands of creatures 
born into the world of whom only few survive, while others appear under such 
conditions that they prematurely perish ; there are thousands also of organisms 
which live in and upon each other. One half of all animal life consists of parasites 
—that is, of animals that fasten themselves to the bodies of other animals and 
live by sucking their blood. Those which prey upon man are mentioned by 
Herbert Spencer in his " Principles of Biology." These parasites are adapted to 
their peculiar mode of life, and are the cause of great pain and suffer- 
ing to the organisms upon which they feed. Besides this, throughout all 
past time there has been a constant preying of superior animals upon in- 
ferior ones — a perpetual devouring of the weak by the strong ; and the earth 
has been a scene of universal carnage. Contemplating the cruelty and the in- 
justice by which we are surrounded — the success of crime, the triumph of 
despotism, the prevalence of starvation, the struggles for many to get the means 
of mere existence, the appalling sights of deformity in children who are born into 
the world so diseased, so decrepit, that the sunshine of happiness seldom, if 
ev^r, gladdens their lives; remembering the existence of these evils and woes, 
we recognize the lack of evidence in support of the belief in the existence of a 
God whose " love and benevolence are manifested throughout all his works.'' 

In his criticism of Agnosticism Dr. Momerie writes : " If we can be sure of 
the existence of the- soul, it will follow that knowledge is not confined to 
phenomena." Just so ; but the contention is that we are not sure of the 
existence of the soul. He does not prove that he has any knowledg^e of that 
which he says underlies and outlasts phenomena. He uses ego, mind, and soul 
as synonymous terms, as representing an entity which controls the material 
organization. This, be it observed, is not the opinion of modern scientists. Pro- 
fessor Ribot contends that the ego is not an entity, but a resultant of a materia) 
organization. The sanoe may be said of the human mind, which is not higher 
than, but a part of, matter. Mind does not always control matter, as is evident 
in cases of epilepsy and paralysis. Dr. Momerie further asserts : *' Without a 
permanent or persistent soul there could be no memory." Are we to infer fron> 
this that the alleged souls of insane persons are dormant ? Moreover, we are 
told by Dr. H. Bischoff and Max Muller that the lower animals have memory. 
According to Dr. Momerie they have souls, which makes man in this particular 
not superior to the " beasts that perish." 

In Dr. Momerie's opinion, "it can no longeir be doubted that evolution is at 
law, a fundamental law, of natural" Still, he contends that there is " an infinite 
and eternal Personality similar to our own." This is his God„ upon whose 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 143 

existence " our knowledge of the material world — nay, even the very being of 
that world — is dependent." The perplexity and fallacy here iixanifested should 
be obvious to the studious reader. In the first place, the very thought of 
personality is inconsistent with the theistic notion of infinity. Experience 
teaches us that a being who feels, thinks and reasons is limited by an organism 
that is acted upon by, and that responds to, the movements of an external 
world. Besides, an Infinite Being must have infinite attributes. Now, is it 
possible for him to be infinite in all his attributes at the same time ? I think 
not, for, if he is infinite in power, he can do all things ; but his infinite goodness 
would prevent him doing evil. Thus one attribute limits the other. 

As regards Personality, it is known to us only as a part of a material organiza- 
tion. Personality involves intelligence, and intelligence implies (i) acquirement 
of knowledge, which indicates that the time was when the person who gained 
additional information lacked some wisdom ; (2) memory, which is the power of 
recalling past events, but with the infinite there can be no past ; (5) hope, which 
is based on limited perceptions, and which shows the uncertain conditions of 
the mind wherein the aspiration is found. The logical conclusion is that, if God 
possesses these important faculties, he is finite ; while, on the other hand, if they 
do not belong to him, he is not an intelligent being. 

Further, Dr. Momerie's notion of God does not harmonize with our reasoning 
faculties. Reason is based upon experience, but an Infinite Being must be 
outside the domain of experience. Reason implies reflection ; we cannot, how- 
ever, reflect upon infinity, because it is unthinkable. Reason implies comparison, 
but an Infinite Being cannot be compared, for there is nothing with which to 
compare him. These and many more perplexities that surround the positive 
claims of Theism justify, in my opinion, the Agnostic position of silence as to 
the unknown. — Literary Guide, 

(Our readers will be glad to hear that our old friend Charles Watts, who for 
some considerable time past has been on the sick list and in a critical condition, 
is now convalescent, and is rapidly regaining his old health and vigor. We wish 
him many more years of health and useful work.] 



" PRAYER BEFORE FIGHTING."— Stonewall Jackson's negro body ser- 
vant knew before anybody else when a battle was imminent. '* The General tells 
you, I suppose," said one of the soldiers. " Lawd, no, sir ! De Gin'ral nuvvur 
tell me noihin' i I obseverates de 'tention ob de Gin'ral dis way. Co'se, he 
prays, jest like we all, mornin' an* night ; but when he gits up two, three times 
in a night to pray, den I rubs my eyes an' gits up too, an' packs de haversack — 
'ca'se I done fine out dere's gwine to be de ole boy to pay right away ! " — Mrs. 
Roger A. Pryor's " Reminiscences" 



Wisdom cannot enter an unkind spirit ; and knowledge without conscience is 
the ruin of the soul— Rabelais. 



144 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



fl>a& nDurbocft'0 Hnimal Stories. 



THE HEN. 
They call our folk " Barnyard Fowl," " Poultry," and " Chickens." The butcher 
always calls us that 

"No, ma'am," he says, "not poultry at all, spring chickens, ma'am ; you'll find 
'em nice and tender." And when she has gone with a pair at one dollar, he says 
to his boy : " Tom, put another pair of old ones in the window. No, only one 
pair ; chickens had ought to be scarce this week." Later, when a farmer comes 
in with a few and asks fifty cents a pair, the butcher says : 

" Fif.y cents ? Why, I'll sell you a wagon load of 'em for forty." The farmer 
is something of a liar himself and I don't know who gets the best of it. 
' But about what name to give us as a family, like " Ducks," *' Geese," or 
" Sheep," there is no name for us in English. The fault is not with us, but with 
the English language. Our people are Canadian, but we came originally from 
India, having lived there in the hill country before English was invented. 

I was sired by a big chief of thn Brahmas, and damned by having to hatch out 
young ducks. The heartless young scoundrels left me the second day after they 
were able to be about, and went in swirhming. It nearly broke my heart, for I 
thought they would drown ; and there were the young wretches playing It apfrog, 
and ring-around-a-rosy, and loop-the-loop, and before they were half grown they 
all turned Baptist. I never knew who my mother was, for I was brought up in 
one of these infernal machines where a thousand can herd together and can be 
distributed to such as need them without breaking a mother's heart. 

If only that humble worker in the Lord's vineyard. Dr. Barnardo, could get an 
improved machine that would hatch out 10,000 motherless orphans at a batch, 
how his soul would be lifted up to give all the glory to godolmity for his un- 
speakable gifts at $2 per head. And then he wouldn't break any mother's 
heart, which is very trying to the doctor ; I feel quite sure that the worthy doctor 
would not trade in little boys if there was no money in it. 

A year ago last March I started to lay eggs with an earnest vigor. The old 
lady put a white stone thing in place of my first egg and thought she fooled me. 
I had a higher purpose in laying, than she had in stealing, my eggs. She didn't 
eat the eggs ; her husband, being of the bone and sinew of the land, let her keep 
the house with the balance of the eggs that were left after he had been fed. His 
labor was work, while that of his wife was only chores ; so he told her and so 
she tried to believe, but her faith was small. Anyhow, she sold the eggs to get 
an occasional print dress, and the store-keeper paid her a low price in high priced 
cotton print. At Easter-tide, the eggs that had been mine and for which I had 
labored, found their way to a great city, having changed hands three times, and 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 145 

increased in price from fifteen cents per dozen to thirty cents. There the whole- 
sale egg man mixed a few •' held " eggs with my eggs and then sold them to the 
grocer. The grocer mixed a few more old eggs with mine and put them in a 
basket with some straw in it. 

When Mrs. Deacon came in and asked if he had any fresh eggs he said : 

" Yes, ma'am, very fine eggs and only twenty five cents." 

" Eggs must be down. I got some a couple of days ago, and paid twenty- 
eight cents in a big store down town." 

" No, eggs are up a little, but we have been selling them right along at 
twenty-five." 

" Oh ! what are these in the basket ? They look nice." 

" Them are boiling eggs, Mrs. Deacon, thirty cents. We get them right from 
a farmer." 

'• Well, it's for boiling I want them ; wouldn't these fresh ones do? " 

" We never hear no complaints about them, but we couldn't guarantee that 
you wouldn't find one in a hundred just a trifle light in the top, but they're fine 
stock." 

" Then why do you call them fresh ? " 

'• Well, it's like this, they ain't ben pickled and they're fresh all right, but 
probably most of 'em have ben laid a week or maybe ten days, but these are all 
from one farmer and we get 'em every week and we know they are all right." 

Deacon, K.C, liked a couple of eggs in the morning. Next morning he 

had them boiled soft, with coffee and muffins. Putting his napkin across his 
knees and bracing the editorial page of the Morning Muddler against the spoon 
glass, he bent his head over his plate, and while Mrs. Deacon tried to look pious, 
spoke thus in a mumbling monotone : 

" Heavenly Father, we thank thee for these thy bounties. Be graciously 
pleased to bless this food that thou hast provided for our bodily use, and sanctify 
our souls to thy service, f Chris' sake Amen." 

Then the china clinked and Mrs. Deacon began to tell who was at the foreign 
mission meeting the previous evening, while Deacon, learned in the law, broke 
an egg into his glass, sniffed it and said, 

'* Fine egg, Sarah," and Sarah said, 

** Yes, that new grocer gets them straight from a farmer." 

Then he cracked the second egg and turned it into the glass. The stuff ran 
out green and yellow. Then he spoke one word with great vigor : 

•♦ Hell ! " 

•* John Deacon, you're awful ; such blasphemy ! Suppose there were any one 
to hear." 

•' Suppose you look at that egg ! " 

*' Is it bad ? Well, that's too bad ! I'll get some more boiled just in — " 



146 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



** Oh, damn the eggs ! I couldn't look at another for a week." 

'* Well, don't use sacred words that way. The girl will hear you and tell the 
neighbors' girl that you're disrespectful to me. All the men on this street are 
gentlemen and never swear." 

" Oh, of course not. I'm a brute. I want to tell you, Mrs. Deacon, that I'm 
the only man on this street that gets eggs that were too far gone for the under- 
taker six months ago. Why. it's enougii to make the neighbors in the next block 
move away. I've a great mind to take this mess over to your grocer and make 
him eat it." 

The raaid was sent to the grocer and reported that half of the eggs were bad. 

Grocer said, " That's very queer, miss ; no one else complained about them.'' 

Then the grocer rang up the egg man and reported two dozen returned to 
him rott-en. The egg man said : 

•' That's very queer, Mr. Brown ; no one else has complained about them." 

Then he said to his book-keeper : 

" Brown is a skin ; he's been mixing his eggs or he's trying a game on us ; 
he's worth watching. You know we gave him first-class stock, eh ? " 

The book-keeper muttered, " 'Course the stock was all right ; Brown is a skin 
and no mistake " Then he went into the vault for a ledger and soliloquized : 

" Brown crooked ? If he was half as crooked as old Hunks a corkscrew 
wou]dn"'t be m it. I'm gettin' on to his tricks and if he don''t give me a raise 
from ten to twenty per, I'll split on the old Jew. Damn a cheat, anyway." 

Ail this could be used to show that we hens are accessories before the fact to 
man's diapRcity ; for had there been no egg there would then be no hen to lay 
aged eggs over which men might waste breath and bother godolmity for a 
blessing. 

While our net value to the world is countable in so many eggs, and so much 
canned chicken after our usefulness in the egg line is gone, yet in another field 
we furnish food for mental research that is the key to the occult. " Which was 
first, the hen or the egg? " That once solved, we can then solve everything. It 
is believed that then proof can be found that hypnotism isn't a fake, and that the 
exact date can be given for the floating of the earth in space ; also that the 
process by which the maker of the earth invented himself can be formulated. All 
they have to do is solve the first question, and they are hard at it now, for a 
matter of thirty centuries. The hen men went to the bat a few years ago and 
made one run. Then the egg fellows got a run At the 'steenth innings the hen 
men were put out on a " foul," at least so the umpire decided, and got mobbed 
for his meddling. 

By last accounts the game is even, but, as it is inconceivable that a debate 
can be infinite the matter will be settled some day. In the mean time our life 
work is to lay eggs and cackle, while that of the knowing ones from the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury or Pope of Rome, college professor or able editor, is to 
gather golden eggs—and cackle. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 147 

" 10 flatter IntelHoent ? " 

:o: 

BY JOHN MADDOCK. 

:o: 

From the view-point of the science of Monism, I shall have to put the answer 
to the above question of Mr. Elvins as follows : All matter has intelligence abid- 
ing in it. All matter is mind-material that can be transformed into unconscious 
conditions of it, by its own inherent power, wherever such conditions are neces- 
sary to take part in any specific system, same as the rocks, trees, soils, metals, 
and all else that is subjected to hard usage by^ blasting, chopping, melting, etc., 
within and upon this earth. As all matter is mind-material, and the principles 
of every change reside in it, all matter is subject to the great cosmic mind, which 
is the prime, great law of all motion ; hence motion acts in accordance with will. 
As all forms must be structural and material, so intelligence must be material ; 
that which is immaterial cannot exist. Man's intelligence is material, and so 
must cosmic intelligence be. The Dualists have paid more attention to the 
assumptions of such men as Plato than to the revelations of nature. Monism 
is a rationalistic view of nature, which rules out all unsupported subjiective vajga- 
ries. Taking a view of the vast extent of the universe, it is not reasonable to 
assume that life was introduced here from some other sooFce. There is uncon- 
scious, but no dead matter. There is in matter, inseparable, that which combines, 
evolves, and adapts. When we see beautiful statuary coming out of an artist's 
studio, we conclude that intelligence abides there ; when we see artrficial flowers 
and ferns coming out of a factory of that kind, we sajy the same. Reason cannot 
logically arrive at any other conclusion in regard to the real, live animal forms 
and the real live flowers, ferns, etc., that are turned out from the great cosmic 
material womb. The principle of transmutation from one kind of matter to. 
other kinds is clearly revealed in the evokiiion of a chick from an egg. The 
principle of intelligence is also revealed there in the ingenious adaptations oi 
means to ends which are absolutely necessary for the life and bodily functions 
of its species of fowl. 

As this great question leads to» many others, I will leave the questioning to 
Mr. Elvins, so as to avoid taking up too much space at once. It takes time to 
rid the mind of the dualistic idea. I appreciate the courtesy expressed in Mr. 
Elvins' way of questioning. Rationalism means reasonableness, and the latter 
means due courtesy whea it is well known that people naturally differ mentally 
as well as physically. 



BY THE EDITOR. 

:o: 



The questions asked by Mr. Elvins evidently call for an answer,, and I am bold 
enough to attempt one. It is a field in which speculation and dogmatism have 



148 SECULAE THOUGHT. 



always been freely indulged in, mostly without any legitimate basis of fact. I 
propose to go only as far as I think experience will justify me, believing that, 
however far we may go, a final solution of Mr. Elvins' difficulty. How can we 
account for the existence of life, mind, and will ? must be altogether unattain- 
able by the human mind. 

Mr. Elvins practically asks two questions— (i) Does living matter (i.e., matter 
plus inteUigence and will) obey the laws of motion ? (2) Is life, mind, intelli- 
gence, or will an inherent quality of matter ? 

For the purposes of this discussion, I take it that " intelligence " or '* will " 
means the ability to receive sensations, to record them in memory, to compare 
them and reason concerning them, and to respond to them or act as the result 
of the reasoning process ; in short, the mental power we see exhibited in what 
we term "an intelligent man " or "an intelligent dog." If any other meaning 
is to be attached to the word, then that meaning should be clearly defined. 

Mr. Elvins says that *' living masses of matter seldom move in straight lines." 
His words involve the assumption that there are dead masses of matter. Now, 
if there is dead as well as living matter, unless we define " living " and " dead" 
in a way different from that ordinarily understood, and if life is essential to intel- 
ligence, then it is clear that all matter is not intelligent ; therefore intelligence 
cannot reside inherently in matter, and the question is settled. 

If, however, we say, because all matter exhibits motion, attraction, repu'sion, 
that therefore it is alive, " life " will then need a definition which will include 
both the atomic or molecular motions of a brickbat and the mental phenomena 
of animal life. 

Mr. Elvins' question may be looked at in another way. Life supplies means 
for apparently varying the otherwise strictly regular motions of non-living matter. 
Must we not conclude that, where no such variations are observable, it is jiot 
rational to predicate the existence of life and intelligence ? Atoms and mole- 
cules show no signs of changing their likes and dislikes — their attractions and 
repulsions. If they did, science, industry, and commerce would be paralyzed. 
Masses of inorganic matter make no attempt to evade the laAvs of motion. Must 
we not conclude that both are destitute of what we term life and intelligence ? 

T9 attribute life and intelligence to some bodies because of their uniformity 
of action, while deducing the existence of those qualities in other bodies from 
their observed irregularities of motion, seems like reducing science to absurdity. 

I think it may be better, for the present at all events, to continue our present 
practice of diflferentiating between living bodies and non-living or inert bodies; 
the former being those exhibiting the phenomena of life — growth, reproduction, 
sentiency, decay, and death ; the latter those exhibiting inherent motions only, 
or with such forms of growth and multiplication as are seen in crystals. 

Leaving these questions, however, for a time, l^t us ask : Do masses of matter 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 149 

containing (or directed by) intelligence and will — that is, living matter — obey the 
laws of motion ? 

I think Mr. Elvins is wrong in his answer to this question. A spherical ball 
fired from a cannon obeys the law of motion absolutely. It travels in a straight 
line, except as far as its motion is varied by its lack of homogeneity, resistance 
and motion of the air, and gravity. If we imagine the ball to be a perfect sphere 
of perfectly homogeneous material and the air perfectly calm, then its trajectory 
would be a parabolic curve in a vertical plane. As these conditions are always 
more or less wanting, the curve of the ball's flight is actually a spiral of varied 
eccentricity, commonly lending greatly to one side. 

To overcome these variations, an elongated shot is used instead of a ball, with 
rifling, which, turning the shot upon its axis, confines its eccentricities within 
limits, and causts its trajectory to more nearly approach the desired straight line. 
In both of these cases there is no question of the moving body obeying tbe law. 

In the case of an explosive shell, another new element enters. The enclosed 
charge of powder explodes at a certain point, and the resulting fragments take 
entirely new courses, depending partly upon their direction at the time of the 
explosion and partly upon the new impetus given to them, still strictly obeying 
the law. An exploding meteorite, a boomerang, etc., give other illustrations. 

When an acrobat jumps from a spring board or swings from a trapeze, his 
motions also correspond to those in the preceding cases. If he varies his centie 
of gravity by extending or twisting his limbs, he may slightly vary his flight, or 
he may do so if he takes two or three somersaults before reaching his goal, but 
he is still as fully under the laws of motion as is the shot. If the pieces of an 
exploded shell could be restrained by elastic bands and brought back to their 
original places, the shell would continue its course in exactly the same way as 
the acrobat. 

The cases of birds in flight, of children swinging themselves, the swimming of 
fish, etc., might be instanced as examples of " will " varying motion ; but in all 
cases the exercise of the will in no way protects the moving body from the ope- 
ration of natural law. A fulcrum must be found for every change in motion. 

We may say, indeed, that non-living bodies never actually move in straight 
lines unless constrained by mechanical devices. Their real motion is always a 
resultant of — (i) their original impulse, at whatever point that may be reckoned 
as beginning ; (2) their changes in shape and inequalities of substance : (3) the 
resistance of the medium through which they travel ; and (4) gravity and the 
attraction or repulsion of outside bodies. 

I think it must be admitted that under no circumstances can any body, living 
or inorganic, evade the operation of natural laws. ^VhiIe it is clear that the 
motions of an acrobat — like those of a child, a bird, or an insect— are to some 
extent controlled by a " will," might not a savage be excused for thinking that 



150 ^ SECULAR THOUGHT. 



the motions of an exploding shot, a kite, or a balloon were also controlled by a 
will ? Would not his conclusions be actually and literally true ? The only dis- 
pute we could have with him would be as to the point at which the will entered 
as the proximate cause of the phenomenon. 

Mr. Elvins' second question. Is matter intelligent? seems to me to be capable 
of a brief and conclusive answer, if we accept the definition given above ; and 
if the answer be affirmative, then all matter must exhibit intelligence. Is this 
the case? 

When gas-coal is converted into coal-gas in a retort where all traces of life are 
necessarily destroyed, can the actions of the gas in subsequently showing its love 
or affinity for oxygen, and thus producing light and heat, be considered as intel- 
lig<int action ? My own opinion is, that this would be a total misuse of words. 

I think the evidence is conclusive that the further we get away from the highly 
complex substances of the animal kingdom, the further away we are from all that 
can legitimately be termed life and intelligence, and the nearer we are to those 
simple manifestations of the forms of motion termed light, heat, and electricity. 
It is, indeed, only in the region of protoplasmic organisms that we find traces of 
what may properly be termed " life." 

Crystals grow and repair and multiply themselves ; but there seems to belittle 
analogy between their actions and those of the worlds of animal and vegetal 
life, though they may be regarded as a step on the road to the production of 
protoplasm. Can we deny the existence of life and intelligence in vegetal forms 
which live and grow and reproduce themselves ? Some plants exhibit sensitive- 
ness which seems almost intelligent, as in the case of insectivorous plants ; but, 
as we seem doubtful about applying the term " intelligent " to some low forms of 
animal life, it appears to be far too wide a stretch of imagination to apply it to 
the vegetable kingdom. 

It is only when we come to the higher forms of animal life that the use of 
the term " intelligence" is in my opinion justified ; and, unless words are to lose 
their meaning, i think it is necessary that we should restrict it to this class— the 
class in which a nervous system has been evolved. For, if my definition of in- 
telligence can stand, a nervous system is absolutely essential to it. 

For many the question seems to be, Do life and intelligence exist in the atoms 
or upon or among them ; are they integral parts of the atoms, or a sort of halo 
^ or spiritual influence surrounding and controlling them ? Thus we have the idea 
of some that the seat of consciousness— the '* ego " — exists in some centrally 
located atom, which has all the characteristics of the individual indelibly stamped 
upon it ; while others indulge in visions of a " cosmic mind," which evidently 
does its thinking in a way that is beyond our comprehension. Whatever may be 
the solution of such questions, the actual fact is, unquestionably, that we observe 
the phenomena of life, consciousness, etc., only in connection with protoplasmic 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 151 

matter, and beyond that all is baseless conjecture or theories of imaginative 
minds. 

The basic phenomenon of life and intelligence is the sensitiveness of proto- 
plasm—the ability to feel and respond to the impressions made upon it by out- 
side forces. How this sensitiveness originated can only be conjectured ; though 
it seems likely that out of the formation and disintegration of crystalline bodies^ 
the transmutation of forces, under suitable conditions, resulted in the production 
of a new, more highly energized, and more unstable substance, retaining the old 
powers of reproduction or multiplication with an added quality of sensitiveness. 

The problem of the production of protoplasm may be unsolved or insoluble, 
but, with a closely-connected series of forms of matter in the infinitely varied, 
states of ethers, gases, liquids, solids, crystalline, viscous, and protoplasmic, and 
with the guiding principles of Evolution, the universality of natural law and the 
continuity of cause and effect, there seems to be no alternative to the firm belief 
that living protoplasm has been produced naturally, like all the other forms of 
matter, at a period when suitable conditions prevailed. 

The other two propositions — that life and intelligence, as we know them, are 
qualities inherent in all matter, or that they have been introduced by some out- 
side power — are not only unthinkable, but offer insuperable difficulties. 

To say that you cannot have life and intelligence in any form of nriatter unless 
they had already existed in all matter, is equivalent to saying that all matter is 
alive and intelligent. The transmutation of forces becomes an unmeaning and 
useless phrase in view of such a cont< ntion. 

While protoplasmic matter maintains its organic integrity and vigor, it lives ;, 
that is, it grows, repairs its waste, and reproduces itself. When, from any cause, 
its organic integrity is degraded beyond a certain point, it dies. When living 
bodies die, while some portions may continue their living functions for a time, 
and other portions become the food of a new series of living forms, still other 
portions lose their protoplasmic form and re-enter the inorganic class. 

These latter, with the great bulk of the substance of the world, cannot truly 
be said to be either living or dead. These terms can properly be applied only 
to masses of protoplasmic matter. 

From the single-cell organisms of transparent jelly up to the primates, with 
man at the apex, there is every grade of advance in mental power and intelli- 
gence, leaving no room for doubt that, whatever nnay have been the origin of 
protoplasmic life, once that began, the only progress has been that depending on 
an increase of the delicacy and sensitiveness of the neural substance and the 
specialization of organs of mental activity. 

Taking a broad glance at the cosmos, we see an unbroken succession of phe. 
nomena, exhibiting in their different formations every form of force and energy 
known to. human investigation. Is it reasonable, in view of this almost infinite 



152 SECULAE THOUGHT. 



variety both of material substance and of dynamical, mental, or spiritual mani- 
festations, that we should use the same term to describe these different pheno- 
mena ? As well might we say that all matter is gas, or all matter is protoplasm 
or inorganic substance, as to say that all motion is life or mind. To say that all 
matter is alive, is equivalent to saying that all matter is protoplasm. 

In the chain of existence, the question. Where does life, intelligence, or con- 
sciousness begin ? may possibly be answered. The amoeba seizing its prey, sur- 
rounding it with its own substance, and thus digesting it, is performing about as 
intelligent an operation as Elisha eating locusts and wild honey. Intelligence is 
displayed by other aniinals than those who print false histories and murder each 
other by thousands according to the rules of international law. 

In my view. Evolution and the foundation principles of science— the reversal 
of which it is impossible to conceive — really render unnecessary any discussion 
of these questions. But we are not all alike, mentally or physically ; and what 
to one man becomes an axiomatic truth as soon as it is comprehended, will to 
another man appear doubtful though supported by elaborate proof. 

Having given my views, however, at some length, I will not hesitate now to 
put them in more concise and categorical form : 

1. The exercise of the intellectual power or will upon moving bodies cannot in 
the slightest degree enable them to escape the operation of the laws of motion. 

2. Life and all of its concomitant phenomena are only developed in masses of 
plastic matter known as protoplasm, the basic material of all plants and animals. 

3. Intellect, consciousness, will, etc., exist only in connection with organisms 
of the animal kingdom ; they are the direct result of physical development, and 
increase in extent and power with the in reasing delicacy, complexity, and spe- 
cialization of the organic structures. 

4. Dead matter is that in which the organic functions of a living body have 
ceased. Part of the dead matter may continue to grow into new vegetable or 
animal organisms, and part be dissolved into its inorganic non-living elements. 

5. The great bulk of the substance of the earth is inorganic, lifeless matter, 
and cannot rationally be described as either living or dead 

6. Whatever " life" or "intelligence " may exist either in the atoms or in the 
cosmos, it is clear that it must be of a different order from that observed in the 
organic kingdoms, and must be inscrutable to man. All that men can really 
know anything about are the energtes manifested in masses of matter. 

7. Life began when the first mass of sensitive protoplasm was formed. 

8 Intelligence began when the first elements of a neural system were built up. 

9. Consciousness began when the first rudimentary ganglia or brain organ was 
developed. 

To use these terms to designate the attributes common to all substances is to 
empty them entirely of their real and definite meaning. 



SECULAE THOUGHT. 153 



a la Xacon* 

:o: 

BY WINNIPEG. 

:o: 



PRAYER. 

Most of us know how great is the importance attached to prayer by the Christian^ 
Church. "Pray without ceasing," is one of those impossible injunctions laid 
down in the Holy Bible (i Thess. 5 : 17). That such a command is beyond 
human power to obey doesn't trouble the mighty potentate who issued it one 
little bit; nor does it distutb his serenity in the least when, in cool ichor, he 
thinks the matter over and discovers that such a way of passing one's time is an 
idiotic waste of human life — admitting, for the nonce, that such a performance is 
possible. * 

Many of us must have met Christians who, in all seri(jusness and good faith, 
assert that they have received great benefit from prayer. To tell such persons 
that the same benefits would have followed had they addressed their petitions to 
Mr. Mumbo Jumbo or any other respectable divine freak, would simply draw 
upon the speaker a cataclysm of imprecations or an avalanche of sorrowing pity. 
Thrice is he armed who ensconces himself in personal experience when arguing 
upon the efficacy of prayer. Such persons cannot be touched by argument. 
Their reasoning power is on a par with that of Gaffer Goosecap, who was sent to 
interview Little Goody Two Shoes. That young lady, wishing to benefit her 
rural friends, bought a barometer and warned them when a storm was coming on. 
As many of her predictions turned out to be true, the wise folks of the village 
concluded that the two-shoed damsel was a witch. They, therefore, commissioned 
Gaffer Goosecap to report upon the matter. The Gaffer, when approaching the 
cottage in which the girl lived, met the young lady. She was accompanied by a 
raven, a dove, a lamb and a dog, all of which she treated very kindly and three 
of whom she had saved from death. Here was evidence in abundance ; with a 
shriek of dismay the intelligent Gaffer fled to accuse the maiden of the damnable 
sin of witchcraft. 

Upon evidence equally convincing, there are persons who aver that they have 
asked, and they have received. As I mentioned long ago in S. T., a woman, 
mighty in prayer, besought the Almighty to fill her empty water-butts. The 
harvest was well-nigh ready for the sickle. The good Lord heard that poor 
woman's prayer, and sent rain. The water-butts were filled to the brim ; and the 
harvest was relegated to the next autumn. " Wasn't the Lord good to that poor 
woman ! " cried out the farmers joyfully. He was ; but the Lord's ways are not 
yet exactly like our ways, nor his definition of goodness like our definition of that 
word. 

Reader, let us suppose you wanted ten cents. You go to Mr. Morgan and 



154 SECULAE THOUGHT. 

address him thus : " Mr. Morgan, you know you are a multimiHionaire ; you 
know you are kind and generous ; you know you can affjrd to give away ten 
cents, and you know far better than I do how you wish to spend >our money. 
But for once be advised by me; give me a dime to get a drink." Reader, do 
you think you'd get that dime? I d n't. But are not the prayers offered in 
church somewhat in that style ? Don't they run frequently according to this 
pattern ? — " Lord, thou knowest that thou art all-powerful ; thou knowest that 
thou art all-wise ; thou knowest that thou art a merciful and loving God. Thou, 
in thy great wisdom, O Lord ! knowest far better than we do what things are 
good for us, for we are but poor, ignorant, crawling worms in thy sight. There- 
fore let thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Nevertheless, because the 
French government is striving to separate church and state, we beseech thee, O 
Lord, in thy great mercy, that thou send no rain upon the earth for the space of 
three years. Grant us this our prayer, O God, and so shall thy wisdom and thy 
power and thy mercy be made known to the heathen and thy name glorified in 
all the earth ! Amen " 

Doesn't it seem a little illogical to tell the good Lord that he knows a deal 
better than we do how to manage the world's business, and then slily advise him 
to substitute our will for his ? Just think the matter over when you feel inclined 
to pray. Even a school-reader will sometimes give good advice ; read, dear 
reader : 

" Suppose the world don't please you, 

Nor the way some people do ; 
Do you think the whole creation 

Will be altered just for you ? " 



Morfting During SIeep< 

:o: 

BY B. F. UNDERWOOD. 

:o: 



Some men have done their best mental work while "asleep." Condillac states 
that while writing his " Course of Studies," he was frequently compelled to leave 
a chapter incomplete and retire to bed, and that on awaking he found it, on more 
than one occasion, finished in his head. In like manner, Condorcet would some- 
times leave his complicated calculations unfinished, and after retiring to rest 
would find their results unfolded to him in his dreams. La Fontaine and Vol- 
taire both composed verses in their sleep which they could not repeat on awaking. 
Samuel Johnson relates that he once in a dream had a contest of wit with some 
other person, and that he was very mortified by imagining that his antagonist 
had the better of him. 

The work done partakes in many cases nrrore of the nature of imaginative com- 
position than of scientific calculation. Thus, a stanza of excellent verse is in 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 155 



print, which Sir John Herschel is said to have composed while asleep, and to 
hive recollected when he awoke. Goethe often set down on paper during the 
day thoughts and ideas which had presented themse'ves to him during sleep on. 
the preceding night. Coleridge is said to have composed his fragment of Kubla 
Khan during sleep 

He had one evening been reading Purchas's Pilgrim ; some of the romantic 
incidents struck his fancy ; he went to sleep, and his busy mind composed 
Kubla Khan. When he awoke in the morning, he wrote out what his mind had 
invented in sleep, until interrupted by a visitor, with whom he conversed for an 
hour on business matters ; but, alas ! he could never again recall the thread of 
the story, and Kubla Khan re.nains a fragment. 

Still more curious, however, are those instances in which the sleeper, after 
composing or speculating, gets up in a state of somnambulism, writes the words 
on paper, goes to bed and to sleep again, and knows nothing about it when he 
awakes. Such cases, the authe 'ticity of which is beyond dispute, point to an 
activity of muscles as well as of brain, and to a correctness of movement which 
is marvellous when we consider that the eyes are generally closed under these 
circumstances. The late Rev. Mr Spurgeon in his sleep prepared a sermon 
which he preached the next dav, and he declared that it was not inferior to his 
usual pro Auctions. Mr. Spurgeon's intellectual work on the night referred to 
was done without that particular consciousness which was suspended when he 
went to sleep, and which returned when he awoke. 

Many men have performed some of their greatest intellectual feats while they 
were asleep. Zeno recommended an examination of dreams as a means of 
acquiring knowledge of the true self. Although dreams are often, indeed in 
most Cises probably, as Dryden says, but "a medley of disjointed things," they 
sometimes show evidence of intellectual capacity which surprises the waking 
self. M thematicians while asleep have dreamed the correct solution of problems 
that had baffled them while awake, and authors have been in dreams directed to 
authorities which they had vainly sought to find when regularly engaged in their 
work. 

Dr. Gregory states that ideas and phraseology occurred to him in dreams which 
were so apt that he made use of them in giving lectures before his college classes ; 
and Sir Thomas Browne comi)osed comedies in his dreams, which amused him 
greatly when he awoke. The dreamer often sees beautiful pictures, hears melo- 
dious strains of music, and feels, as it seems, the presence of departed or distant 
friends, as strongly and as vividly as if the external organs were in active exer- 
cise. Taste and smell are in a like manner excited in sleep. 

The facts show that the activity of the organs of sense is not necessary to 
excite those impressions which were originally received through the senses, show- 
ing, too, that what is perceived is not the external object, but the effect which 
the object has produced upon the mind — a symbolical representation in con- 
sciousness, mental in its nature, of the externality. And thus, when the avenues 
of the b )dy are closed, the impressions may be as vivid as when the senses are 
alive to the outward world ; ani, what is more wonderful, the imagination may, 
during this time, indulge in flights of fancy, the reasoning i)Owers may be exerted 
in solving the most abstruse problems, or memory may be exercised in recalling 
from the dim past some long-forgotten incident. 



156 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



Where there is thought theie is consciousness. How can the mind prepare a 
sermon, or woik out a mathematical problem, without being conscious of the 
process ? The fact that it does not come into the ordinary chain of mental 
operations, would seem to imply that there is a deeper or a higher consciousness 
which is active even when the conscious life, as it is known to us, is suspended 
in sleep. The ordinary consciousness may be but a phase of a larger life, the 
more superficial aspects of which only come above the threshold of the "waking 
state " into ordinary thought and conduct. 

Is not every person largely influenced by the so-called unconscious thinking 
that is done in sleep and in the waking state ? How many great discoveries, 
wonderful inventions, profound conceptions, and deeds of sacrifice and heroi^im 
may be, to a considerable extent, attributable to the subliminal processes of the 
mind ? In some cases, the individual but carries out unconsciously what was 
started in a conscious or semi-conscious state, as was probably the case with Mr. 
Spurgeon, who says that on going to the table he " felt a train of thought come 
back " to him with the notes, and that a " glimmering consciousness of the truth 
[of what had occurred] dawned upon " him. 

In the depths of human consciousness are powers and potentialities of which 
people generally take no note. They are manifested in a way to attract attention 
only rarely, because perhaps such manifestation requires peculiar conditions that 
rarely exist. The conditions must be such as to admit of the exercise uf a power 
which perhaps all men and women possess potentially, but with nearly all of 
whom it remains in a latent condition through life, only here and there, now and 
then, flashing into the common consciousness. 



MISCELLANEOUS 



The Devil, to prove 

That religion's a farce, 
Went out to fish for some Christians. 

He baited his hook 

With Rock'feller's purse, 
And caught all the heads of their Missions. 
New York, March 29. Guns. 



UNIIED STATES REPUBLICANISM. 

Travellers are proverbially said to meet strange bed-fellows, and changing 
circumstances cause nations to make strange friendships. Not many years ago, 
-soon after the Civil War in the United States, a Russian fleet visited that 
country, and its officers and crews were received with open arms, and feted as if 
they represented a nation with which citizens of the great republic would 
naturally sympathize. Here were the citizens of the leading land of liberty, who 
had just consummated their belated act of justice to the negroes, and thus wiped 
the foul stain of legalized human slavery f-om their statute-books, hobnobbing 
with the militant representatives of the most brutally tyrannical autocratic 
government in the world. At that time, the great bulk of the Russian people 
were serfs in most abject dependence upon an aristocracy which possessed not 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 157 



one redeeming feature either of culture or chivalry. Grossly sordid, tyrannical^ 
cruel and superstitious to the last degree, the Russian nobility, aided by the 
priesthood, had for years kept the people in the lowest state of poverty and 
ignorance. While the priesthood robbed the peasantry of a large part of their 
meagre earnings, the tax gatherers seized most of what remained ; and in order 
to increase the imperial revenues from spirits, the wse of '* vodka " was greatly 
encouraged. And yet Uncle Sam had nothing better to do than to fraternize 
with aristocratic naval officers representing such a country as this, because, at that 
time, he felt a little sore with John Bull over the Alabama claims and olhej^ 
disputes arising out of the Civil War ! 

-Only a few weeks ago, on Washington's birthday, the University of Pennsyl- 
vania conferred the degree of Doctor of Laws upon President Roosevelt and — 
the German Emperor ! Now, we have no objection to the faculty of an American 
University doing honor to its r^ationat President, though we cannot help thinking 
that it is degrading both to the institution and to the recipient to confer degrees 
upon any person who has not fairly earned them. But to select such a persor> 
as the German Emperor as the recipient of an honorary degree is a sign- of 
childish sycophancy in the faculty of a republican univer>fty that we should 
think will make many a citizen of the republic blush for shame. 

As we have often asked, where shall we look to find the difference between a 
republic and a monarchy? 



THE CYNIC'S DICTIONARY. 

Pianoforte (abbreviated to Piano), n. An instrument thoughtfully provided 
by American husbands and fathers for their wpves and daughters, in observance 
of Bulwer's dictum that " the best way to keep the dear creatures from playing 
the devil is to encourage tbem in playing the fool."^ 

Piety, n. Reverence for the Supreme Being, based upon his supposed^ 
resemblance to man. 

The pig is taught by sermons and epistles 
. To think the God of Swine has snout and bristles. — Hudihras. 

Pleasure, n. An emotion engendered by something advantageous to one^s 
self or disastrous to others. In the plural this word signifies mostly artificial 
aids to melancholy that deepen the general gloom of existence with a par^licuhr 
dejection. 

Plenipotentiary, adj. Having full power. A Minister Plenipotentiary is a 
diplomatist possessing absolute authority on condition that he never exerts it. 

Plunder, v. To take the property of another without observing the decer»t 
and customary observances of theft. To effect a change of ownership with the 
candid concomitance of a brass band. 

Plutocracy, n. A republican form of government deriving its powers from 
the conceit of the governed — in thinking they govern. — Ambrosi Bierce, in the 
American. 



REVIVAL. CONVERT DROPS DEAD. 

At a recent revival meeting at Glasgow, an old man named Grant fell dead 
in the act of resuming his seat after having testified to his conversion. A doctor 
was summoned, but found the man beyond help. The audience is said to have 
been " profoundly moved by the tragic event," but if their faith had been as big 
as a grain of mustard seed they would hav€ sung a hymn of praise at the old 



158 SECULAK THOUGHT. 



man's translation to the realms of bliss at the very moment when he was fully 
prepared to go there by throwing all his sins on Jesus. No doubt, however, they 
buspected the poor old fellow's death was due to heart failure caused by excite- 
ment on making his maiden speech " for Jesu's sake." 



NEGRO MISSIONARY BECOME PAGAN CHIEF. 
Daniel Flickinger Wiiberforce, a native-born African, who was educated in the 
United States, and for twenty-five years worked in the mission field of his nati\e 
country, Imporrah, in West Africa, has fallen from grace and will be dropped 
from the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, that educated him and sent 
him to Africa. Of late he has become chief of his tribe, resumed his native 
religion, and taken a number of wives. He collected quite a pocketful of money 
in this country a few years ago lecturing in behalf of his mission. 



IMMORAL EFFECT OF "BEN HUR."— Superintendent Jenkins, of the 
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children says that, however religious 
General Lew Wallace's story of " Ben Hur " may be, its effect is decidedly im- 
moral and corrupting upon the young girls who have been appearing in the 
play founded upon the novel. Of these, he says, fifteen have " gone wrong " 
already, and have been placed in the custody of the society. Of course, it will 
be urged that this result may have been due to the influence of the theatrical 
surroundings rather than to the incidents of the play ; but, as in the case of 
Christianity itself, if it be claimed that it has not been the inciting cause of im- 
morality, we are entitled to assert that the religious element has in no way acted 
as a moral or restraining influence. It may some day dawn upon common-s.nse 
adherents of the church that religious dogmas and beliefs have really no connec- 
tion whatever with morality, and that the pretence that they have only leads to 
hypocrisy. 



IRISH GAOL TURNED INTO A CONVENT.— A sign of the times is 
noted at Nenagh, North Tipperary, Ireland, where the county gaol has been 
'handed over to a gang of nuns "for educational purposes," at a nominal rent 
of $1 a year. By the time the nuns have got in their educational work, probably 
the building will again be needed as a prison. 



THE TIRED FOOT. 

The potter stood at his daily work, The potter never paused in his work, 

One patient foot on the ground ; Shaping the wondrous thing ; 

The other with never-slackening speed 'Twas only a common flower-pot. 

Turning his swift wheel round. But perfect in fashioning. 

Silent we stood beside him there, Slowly he raised his patient eyes. 

Watching the restless knee. With homely truth inspired : 

Till my friend said low, in pitying voice, " No, ma'am : it isn't the foot that kicks 

" How tired that foot must be," The one that stands gets tired." 

—The Co.tinent. 



On all hands there is the announcement, audible enough, that the old erppire 
of routine is ended ; that to say a thing has been is no reason for its continuing 
to be. — Thomas Catlyle. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 159 



HOW THE NEGROES ESCAPED LYNCHING. 

" Brf^dren, I bring yo' good news frum de souf. Three cullud men con- 
victed of murder has escaped lynchin'. De promptness an' perspicacity wid 
which de cullud men has been interduced into de mystic henceforth is ap- 
pallin' to de uncultivated mind. It has been neck or nothin' wid us eber 
since de prancipation moculation. Not eben de obscenities ob good society has 
been observed towards us. We has been jerked wid a free an' liberal han'. 
Jestice would not stretch a point, but stretched us. Now we see de ebenin' 
ob hope risin' on de dawn ob despair. Three cullud men escaped lynchin'." 

" How did dem coigns escape 1 " asked Deacon Drinkwater. 

"Dey escaped lynching bekase dey was hung by due absence ob law by 
de sheriff. Pour some watah down dat niggah's back what's a-snorin', an' 
den take up de collecshun." • 



Little Sadie (after a whipping) — I think papa is dreadful. Was he the 
only man you could get, mamma 1 

Mrs. Waldo-Cecil : He has a barrel of money ! 

Edith Waldo-Cecil : But is he all right socially ? 

Mrs. Waldo-Cecil : Oh, yes; he hasn't the least idea how he got it. — Fuck. 



It is Dr. Field who tells the story of a Scotchman who prayed earnestl y 
" Lord, keep me from going wrong, for you know how hard it is to do any- 
thing with a Scotchman when once he makes up his mind." 

A man with a shot-gun said to a bird : " It is all nonsense, you know, 
about shooting being a cruel sport I put my skill against your cunning — 
that is all there is of it. It is a fair game." 

" True," said the bird ; " but I don't wish to play." 

" Why hot ?" inquired the man with a shot-gun. 

"The game," the bird replied, "may be fair, as you say; the chances are 
about even ; but consider the stake. I am in it for you, but what is there 
in it for me ! " 



He came to town on Monday with his mind in such condition 

He might have been induced to take a salaried position. 

But Wednesday he was ready to accept a situation, 

And even be content with rather small remuneration. 

On Saturday he studied o'er the " Male Help Wanted " pages, 

Then hustled out and got a job ; so now he's drawing wages. 



Boston Youth : Father, why do the uncultured provincials refer to an ig- 
norant person as one who " doesn't know beans 1 " 

Boston Father : It is a vulgar way, my son, of intimating that such an 
individual is not a native of Boston. 



The maxims of wisdom are the pieces of glass in a kaleidoscope ; they remain 
forever unchanged and in the same case, but every age shakes them into a 
new combination of colors. 



160 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 



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NYSSIA. 



Hn ®l& Morl^ Stori2. 



By M. C. O'BYRNE, 

Author of " Song of the Ages and Other Poems," " Upon This Rock,' 
I " Love and Labor." 




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TORONTO, CANADA : 

C. M. Ellis, Printer and Publisher, 185^ Queen St. West. 



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In this work, Mr. O' Byrne has woven an 
old-world story into a poem of intense in- 
terest and of wonderful grace and power. 

We think that since the days when **The 
Corsair," *^ The Giaour," ^^The Cenci," 
and their companion works startled and 
delighted a world of critics, there has not 
appeared a poem the equal of Mn O' Byrne's 
new work. 

** Nyssia " forms a neat volume of about 
90 pages post 8vo. ; it is printed with new 
type on heavy paper, and will be handsomely 
bound in blue cloth with gold lettering, 
price $1.00, post free; an edition in heavy 
paper wrapper will be issued, price 60c. 



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SEC ULAK THOUGHT 

A Fortnightly Journal of Rational Criticism in 
Politics, Science, and Religion. 

J. S. ELLIS, Editor. NEW SERIES. C. n. ELLIS, Bus. Mgr. 

V^OL. XXXI. No. 6. TORONTO, MARCH 31, 1905. loc; $2 per ann. 

Xife, 2)catb, an5 IRcIiQion. 

:o: 

The lives of the majority of men and women are passed with- 
out any such knowledge of God as can create in them a noble 
and lovable character. Myriads die as infants, before the 
faculties with which they are born can even begin their growth 
and development. All humanity is divided into tribes and 
nations, who live in a perpetual state of armed truce, when they 
are not engaged in slaughtering one another ; and a vast por- 
tion of the product of human industry is wasted in preparation 
for mutual slaughter itself. The hatreds of men professing, 
and often feeling, a strong religious zeal, are frequently as 
savage as those of men who openly disclaim religious motives; 
and they crush, torture, and slay one another for the sake of 
what they call ** religious truth," with all the bloodthirstiness 
of a vulgar murderer. What an awful, incomprehensible, and 
terrible thing is, then, this life we are living ; and yet, when 
we die, no one comes back from the world into which he has 
entered to tell us what he has there found to enlighten him. — 
Rev. J. M. Caper, in Contemporary Review, 

EDITORIALS. 

CATHOLICISM AND Again it is being demonstrated that "a good 
** CANADIAN Catholic " cannot be a good citizen ; for it is 

STATESMEN." abundantly manifest that, if a man be intellec- 

tually free, honest, and independent, he cannot 
be a good Catholic. And again are the rights of present and future 
generations of freemen being bartered by corrupt politicians to try and 
satisfy the insatiable greed of a crafty and unscrupulous priesthood. 



162 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



The history of the present Autonomy Bills will be one to make future 
generations of Canadians blush for shame at the duplicity and credulity 
of the men in high places, who are supposed to control the destinies of 
their country, but who have proved their powerlessness in the hands of 
the wily Catholic priests. 

The statement issued by fhe Hon. Robert Rogers, Minister of Public 
Works in the Manitoba Government — a statement which the Papal dele- 
gate admits to be in the main correct as far as he is concerned, — shows 
clearly that the Roman Catholic hierarchy in Canada possess not only 
the will, but the power to largely control Dominion legislation in their 
own favor. For some years Manitoba, a small province, has fought for 
a "rectification of her frontiers," and just now, when the two new pro- 
vinces are to be created on her western boundary, seems the last oppor- 
tunity fehe will have of securing any expansion in that direction. 

On the 13th of February the Manitoba Government were invited by 
Premier Laurier to a conference on the matter at Ottawa, and the depu- 
tation sent reached Ottawa on the 16th, meeting Sir Wilfrid by appoint- 
ment next day. The matter was discussed, but no decision was reached, 
and the deputation was requested to remain in Ottawa for a few days, 
when some settlement might be arrived at. Three days later a letter 
was received from Mr. Sbarretti, the Pope's special delegate in Canada, 
asking one of the deputation to visit him. At the interview, Sbarretti 
stated that the reason why Manitoba's claims had hitherto been disre- 
garded was that the Maritobans had not conceded the Roman Catholic 
claims regarding separate schools ; and he promised, if two clauses em- 
bodying these claims, copies of which have been printed, were added to 
the Education Act of Manitoba, her extension northward to James Bay 
would be favorably considered. 

Naturally, such a transaction as this has led to a vast amount of dis- 
cussion, explanation, and denial ; but the chief facts are admitted and 
are undoubtedly true. And a strange feature is, that though Sir Wilfrid 
Laurier repudiates Sbarretti's action, he has made no effort to keep his 
promise to state what the Government was prepared to do. He asserts, 
indeed, that he made no such promise, and that the conference of the 
17th February was concluded by his definite refusal to further consider 
the Manitoba claims at the present time. We are thus brought to a 
direct charge of falsehood on one side or the other, with Sbarretti as. 
the chief witness against Sir Wilfrid Laurier. 

In the ordinary way» we would not believe a Papal official's testimony 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 1C3 

given under fifty oaths if uncorroborated, but in the present case Sbar- 
retti's admissions seem well supported ; and we cannot doubt that if the 
Manitobans bad agreed to his terms without making a fuss, a Manitoba 
Boundaries Extension Bill would have seen the light within a few hours. 
But who can believe Sbarretti when he says his offer to the Manitobans 
was made as a private suggestion, and without the knowledge of the 
Dominion Government ? He may write himself down as a meddlesome 
ass, in order to help himself and his friends out of an ugly fix, but who 
will believe him ? 

^^^^^^ 

SIR WILFRID'S It is significant that the Liberal press makes but 

DILEMMA. a poor ghow of defending their leader, and it is 

still more significant that Sir Wilfrid makes a 
far worse attempt at defending himself. Placed in the dilemma of having 
to explain the duplicity involved in his assurance, given in a letter 
to the Greenway Government of Manitoba that the settlement made 
in the school question was " final," while he had written to Cardinal 
Rampolla at Rome that it was only " the beginning," he first denies that 
he ever said the settlement was final, and then claims that his assurance 
given to Cardinal Rampolla was only that of a private person, not the 
authorized utterance of the Prime Minister ! 

It is interesting to note that the excuse offered by Mr. Sbarretti is sub- 
stantially the same as that given by the Premier. Sbarretti says, in his 
statement issued to the press regarding the Manitoba conference : 

" The Federal Government had absolutely no knowledge of it. It was 
a private conversation, and simply intended to express a suggestion and 
a desire that the condition of the Catholics in the respects mentioned 
would be improved. Any other assumption or interpretation is altogether 
unfounded. I think my right of speaking to Mr. Campbell in a private 
way and on my own responsibility cannot be disputed." 

Mr. Campbell is the Attorney-General for Manitoba, and was the 
member of the Manitoba delegation to Ottawa who was specially invited 
to a conference by Sbarretti. Sbarretti is the Pope's special representa- 
tive in Canada, sent here at the request of the Canadian Government to 
supervise Catholic interests in a responsible manner. To describe a set 
interview between two such men as a ** private conversation " can only 
deceive those willing to be deceived. 

This sort of business is what we naturally expect in a Catholic priest, 



164 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



but ought we not to be getting something different, something bolder, 
more truthful, and more manly from our " Canadian statesmen ?" 

LOW STANDARD Naturally, no one can expect a much higher 
OF MORALITY standard of morality among politicians than 

AMONG OUR among the masses. Recent events, indeed, would 

POLITICIANS. seem to show that, instead of being better, they 

are far worse. Corruption of one sort or another 
seems to dominate the whole political outfit, from the ward-heeler to the 
Cabinet Minister. During the long life of the late Dominion Conserva- 
tive Government, not only was there a constant succession of exposures 
of corrupt dealings with contractors and the public funds, but charges 
of a grossly immoral character were brought against Cabinet Ministers, 
without any other result than causing a few days' sensation. ** These 
bands are clean ! " the late Sir John A. Macdonald could say, because 
he never robbed the public chest himself, — he only winked while his fol- 
lowers helped themselves. 

There are, no doubt, some honorable and patriotic men among our 
public officials, but the recent changes in our Dominion Cabinet seem 
to show that, with all the party protestations of honesty, *' Grab " and 
*' Graft " are the two leading watchwords in Canadian politics. 

Two or three of the more recent events exhibit features of unusual 
interest. The retirement of Mr. Blair held the public in suspense for a 
considerable period in the expectation of a great exposure which never 
came ; and the same result has attended the Ministerial break-up in 
Quebec. This latter event is the more remarkable from the fact that the 
Conservative party retired from the contest at the last election, leaving 
the Liberals to make almost a clean sweep of the constituencies. The 
Parent Government had an almost unanimous Legislature at its back, 
and yet it struck a rock before the Legislature met. Up to this time the 
cause of the trouble has not been announced, but after seVeral weeks* 
negotiation M. Parent resigned, and M.Gouin has formed a new Govern- 
ment. Under such circumstances, a turnover like this assumes a most 
sinister aspect. Of course, an explanation may be forthcoming at some 
future time ; but the truth ? That will depend on circumstances. 

Then there is the Sifton resignation at Ottawa. While it is possible 
that Mr. Sifton has attempted to make political capital out of his pro- 
fessed objection to the school clauses^ it is certain that his opposition- 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 165 

was not at all strong, or he would not have returned so soon to his party 
allegiance, if not yet to his office. There is a whispered explanation of 
a scandalous nature, but Dame Rumor has yet to make out a clear case. 
What seems clear is, that Sifton no more opposed the coercive legislation 
than did Fielding or Mulock, for the new clauses proposed by no means 
remedy the evil complained of — that the Autonomy Bills, now as before 
their amendment, fasten Separate Schools like a millstone round the 
necks of the new Provinces. 

CATHOLICS Although the Downeyville school case has been 

CONVERT PUBLIC settled in favor of the Protestants, the priests 
SCHOOL INTO giving up possession of the school building, of 

SEPARATE SCHOOL, which they had illegally obtained possession for 
a sum of five dollars, another case has occurred 
at the village of Curran, Ontario, in which the Catholics, having elected a 
majority of the public school trustees, decided to convert the school into 
a Catholic school, purchased the building from themselves for the sum 
of five dollars, put it in charge of the priest, and refused to allow the 
Protestant scholars to enter the school. The matter, however, was put 
into legal hands, and the trial of the case was fixed to commence at 
L'Orignal on April 7. On the day named. Inspectors Summerby (Public 
schools) and Rochon (Separate schools) proposed a compromise, which 
the Catholics rejected. The following day, Judge Teetzel had a private 
conference with representatives of the two boards, and a compromise 
was agreed to, the Catholics giving the Protestants a log schoolhouse and 
$350, and practically stealing the new Public schoolhouse worth $2,500, 

CHRISTIANITY Dr. Wenyon, a returned missionary, caused some 

HAS NOT "CAUGHT consternation at a recent meeting of ** The Na- 
ON " IN CHINA. tional Council of the Evangelical Free Churches 

of England " — what a name ! — by asserting that 
Christianity has not " caught on '* in China. This tardy acknowledg- 
ment of A fact well known outside of Christian missionary circles seems 
to have struck the National Councillors as a piece of news, though every 
unprejudiced man knows that some centuries of Catholic mission work 
has produced no appreciable effect upon the immense population of the 
Flowery Kingdom. 

Mr. Wtiuyon said that " the most important of the hindrances to the 



166 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



moral evolution of the Chinese was the sectarianism which had been 
allowed to intrude into the missionary work ;" which is as good as saying 
that Christianity has no chance wliatever of improving the moral status 
of the Chinese people, for Christianity without sectarianism is unthink- 
able. But we imagine Mr. Wenyon is somewhat prejudiced in favor of 
Christianity. In our opinion, the real reason why Christianity is power- 
less to improve the Chinese people is the very same reason why it is 
powerless to improve the Christian peoples. A system of supernatural 
beliefs and superstitions is not likely to improve the morals of any 
people, and the Chinese are quick-witted enough to understand that 
nineteen centuries of Christianity — according to the missionaries them- 
selves — has only had the result of producing among Christians at least 
as much vice and crime as exist among any other peoples. 

Under such circumstances, what inducement have the Chinese to ac- 
cept Christianity^ — to change Joss for the Pope cr Confucianism for the 
Bible ? If mere repetition of homilies and precepts is of any moral 
value, then, as Confucianism is at least understandable and workable, it 
would have a far more beneficial effect than the missionary's Sermon on 
the Mount — the essence of Christianity which Goldwin Smith describes 
as " Eastern hyperbole," and which requires an interpreter to make it 
of any ethical value at all. 

The Chinese, too, know that Christianity is the religion of Western 
barbarians whose merchants and soldiers have brought bloodshed and 
rapine and plunder upon them, and whose very missionaries have taken 
a leading part in despoiling temples and palaces of their choicest gems. 

Probably the chief reason why Christianity will never make much 
headway in China is that large numbers of Chinamen are now living in 
Christian lands, where they are fast finding out the real value of the 
Christian religion. 

UNDESIRABLE It is undeniable that the regulations governing 

IMMIGRATION the admission of immigrants into Canada are so 

INTO CANADA. defective, that large numbers of most undesirable 

persons have heretofore been permitted to become 
our fellow-citizens ; and we are glad to see that far more attention is 
being given to the matter. England for many decades has made herself 
the dumping-ground for the scum of Europe, and is possibly now paying, 
the penalty in an excessive amount of pauperism^ vice,, and crime. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 167 

We should be the last to propose the exclusion of any immigrant on 
the ground of political or religious opinions. We would not, indeed, 
object to the entrance of the religious brotherhoods and sisterhoods 
lately expelled from France. Let them come, so long as they are healthy 
and intelligent and have the means of self-support, and if they are will- 
ing to obey the laws of the country. If these laws are so defective that 
they permit religious bodies, or any other social units, to acquire powers 
and privileges detrimental to the public welfare, that is our fault ; and 
the remedy is to amend our laws, so that they cannot lend themselves to 
the machinations of any social parasites. 

It is the fact, not that the Catholic congregations have been expelled 
from France on account of their religious opinions, but simply that they 
have emigrated from France rather than comply with the laws, which 
require all educational and religious establishments to be regularly in- 
spected by public officials, and to render accounts of their property and 
financial condition. It is unfortunate for Canada that, owing to Catholic 
dominance in politics, our laws in this regard are extremely lax, and that 
the power of the church is rapidly increasing. 

An Ottawa Government report gives details of the immigration into 
Canada, and of measures taken to prevent the entrance of anfit persons 
in the year ending June 30, 1904. The total number of immigrants was 
99,741 ; and of these 1,420 males and 405 females were detained for 
medical treatment, and 270 were deported as** diseased or undesirable." 

There are a few features about the latter items that will repay notice. 
Of the English-speaking people only 35 were detained out of 50,374 ; 
while of the Syrians, etc., from south-eastern Europe and Asia, 150 were 
detained out of 510; and of the Russians, 624 out of a total of 1,956 
were detained. Many of these last are thought to have been Russian 
Jews, of whom 5,247 were landed. Of Italians, 110 out of 4,445, and 
of Galicians, 327 out of 7,729 were detained. The relative proportions 
were : British, 1 in 1,325 ; Italians, 1 in 40 ; Russians and Russian 
Jews, 1 in 11.6 ; Syrians and allied races, 1 in 3.4. The prevailing cause 
of detention wag trachoma, the chronic form of ophthalmia so prevalent 
in south-eastern Europe, Egypt, etc. 

In view of the fact that for a long time it has been the practice of even 
many British as well as the Continental authorities to bonus their crimi- 
nals and paupers to emigrate to Canada and the States, the question of 
dealing effectively with this phase of immigrationseems vitally important 
to the welfare of the Canadian people. 



168 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

A side-issue, too, crops up in the fact that many of those detained for 
medical treatment are destined for the United States, into which they 
have been refused admission until cured. Canada is thus compelled to 
bear the cost of the treatment of Uncle Sam's prospective citizens as 
well as that of her own. Such a state of things as this should be met 
by at once compelling the steamship companies to deport the diseased 
persons or pay the cost of their treatment. 

DO NOT ADMIT A correspondent of the London Standard lately 

DISEASED visited Hamburg, the great emigration port of 

IMMIGRANTS. Europe, with the object of getting at the real facts 

in regard to the physical condition of the people 
who leave that port for England, the British Commission on Physical 
Degeneracy having named as its most active factors a number of diseases 
which bring in their train every kind of evil — epilepsy, lunacy, tubercu- 
losis, etc. The correspondent says : 

" With these facts in my mind, one of the first questions I addressed 
to the official under whose guidance I visited the Emigrants* Depot was 
what percentage of the thousands of emigrants who every week pass 
through his hands and undergo the prescribed medical inspection were 
found to be suffering from these diseases. His answer establishes the 
monstrous fact to which I allude. ' Of the Christian emigrants one- 
fourth, of the Jewish emigrants three-fourths are so afflicted,' was his 
answer ; and he added : 

'' * Evidence of such disease in an emigrant is not a cause of deten- 
tion. America does not exclude emigrants on that ground. I think that 
the Americans are in the wrong, and that if they would make these dis- 
eases a bar to admission it would be greatly to their advantage 

Beyond noting each case as an interesting fact, we do nothing. As the 
countries to which these people are proceeding do not object, we have no 
reason to detain them. But, in any case, we could not do so. With what 
funds could we keep and doctor the patients in our lazarette "? Occa- 
sionally, in very bad cases, where the disease shows itself on the man, 
we patch him up before his further expedition.' 

*' If thu^, as Mr. Winston Churchill wrote in a letter to a correspon- 
dent, only 7,500 alien immigrants settle annually in England, it means 
also that only 3,750 fresh centres of the worst possible infection are each 
year installed in our population. 

" To any English patriot a visit to the various pavilions of the emi- 
grants' halls is a painful and humiliating experience. Oae sees splendid 
specimens here of men and women — Russians, Lithuanians, Hungarians, 
Slavonians — clean, sturdy > open-faced, sweet creatures ; these for Ame- 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 169 

rica and Canada, to work in the fields, to work in the factories, with their 
strong arras and clean hearts, to be put at the entire disposal of their 
new countrv. One sees, too, the very opposites of these — filthy, ricketty 
jetsam of humanity, bearing on their evil faces the stigmata of every 
physical and moral degeneration ; men and women who have no inten- 
tion of working otherwise than in trafficking. These are for England. 
The only morsel of comfort is, that these are to be found usually in the 
pavilions that do not smell of spirits. 

" One can tell the class of emigrants in each pavilion, their religion, 
and to some extent their destination, merely by the smell which greets 
your nostrils on stepping into the room. The brandy smell denotes 
Christians and implied laborers for the new world. The garlic smell 
denotes Israelites, of whom a proportion goes to London." 

Now, whatever proportion of this ricketty refuse finds its way to our 
own land should be rigorously deported. We should not allow Canada 
to be made the dumping-ground of either Europe or the States ; nor 
should we ourselves make it a dumping-ground by giving assisted pas- 
sages to poor European emigrants. It is enough to give them the best 
advice our emigration agents can afford, and a large free grant of land 
when they arrive here. To do more is to encourage pauperism. 

And diseased immigants should be refused admission. The only way 
the steamship companies can be taught not to bring diseased passengers 
is to compel them to take such passengers back at their own expense. 
The Hamburg official admits that the whole business would be stopped 
as soon as it was known that the British and American authorities had 
decided riot to admit diseased immigrants ; but, whether the British or 
the United States adopt such a measure — we believe it is already par- 
tially adopted in the States — Canada should adopt it at once. Every 
immigrant should be examined as if for a life insurance. 

THE LAWS OF A curious item is that relating to disease among 

MOSES AND the Israelites. W-'e have long been assured by 

JEWISH HEALTH Christian Evidence men that the Hebrews' strict 
AND LONGEVITY, observance of the hygienic laws of Moses accounts 
for their better health and greater longevity as 
compared with those of Christians. Our Ottawa report shows that the 
proportion of Russians and Russian Jews detained on account of disease 
compared with Christians similarly detained was as 114 to 1. The Ham- 
burg official gives the proportion observed by him as 3 to 1. Perhaps 
the difference in the proportion is due to the fact that in the former case 



170 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

garlic had to contend with beer, in the latter only with brandy. The 
undoubted fact, however, of the excessive amount of disease among the 
Hebrews may easily be accounted for by the terrible conditions under 
which the Hebrew race has bad for many generations to live in Europe, 
and more especially in Russia. We only call attention to it to show the 
utter fallacy of the argument so long put forward by such men as H. L. 
Hastings, the " Anti-Infidel " tract maker and lecturer — that the God- 
given laws of Moses are the best for humanity. 

REVIVALIST There has been a funny passage of arms between 

TORREY'S Torrey and Ernest Pack, a smart English Free- 

" CONVERTED thought writer and lecturer, at present contri- 

INFIDELS." buting to the Agnostic Journal. Mr. Pack called 

Mr. Torrey's attention to some mis-statements 
he had made regarding "converted infidels," remarking: 

" You mention three ' representative Freethinkers ' who have been 
converted — (1) the Secretary of the Atheist Society in Christchurch, New 
Zealand ; (2) Robert Pitman, who distributed 20,000 infidel tracts out- 
side your mission ; (3) Musgrave Reade, of Manchester, at one time a 
writer for the Clarion. I have made very careful inquiry, and found — 

'* 1. There never was an * Atheist Society' in Christchurch, New Zea- 
land. 

** 2. There never was a representative Freethinker in Bristol named 
Robert Pitman, and there is no Freethought publishing firm from which 
any Robert Pitman has ever had 20,000 tracts ; neither has any leading 
English Freethinker ever heard of any Freethinker by this name, repre- 
sentative or otherwise. 

" 3. Musgrave Reade was never a writer for the Clarion, edited by 
Robert Blatchford ; nor has he ever written for the Freethought press or 
spoken on any Freethought platform." 

The chief part of Mr. Pack's letter refers to Mr. Torrey's refusal to 
meet in debate a representative Freethinker, on the ground that he 
" will not give up speaking to 10,000 in order to convert one infidel." 

In a reply, Torrey simply re-asserts his statements. He says he was 
in New Zealand and knows the Atheist Society existed ; though, if so, it 
is the first one we have heard of. We well remember the strong efforts 
made some thirty-five years or so ago to colonize Christchurch with Eng- 
lish Church emigrants, and doubt the existence of even a Freethought 
society there. Torrey discreetly withholds the secretary's name. 

As to a man distributing 20,000 tracts outside Torrey's mission, those 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 171 

who know the work involved in printing and distributing 20,000 tracts 
will ask for some more substantial evidence than Torrey's mere word. 

Torrey admits that Mr. Blatchford denies that Musgrave Reade was 
ever connected as a writer with his paper, but says he saw Reade's own 
card as a writer for the Clarion — which by no means proves him to have 
been a Freethinker, for at first the Clarion was a purely Socialist jour- 
nal, and Christian Socialists have written for it as well as Freethought 
Socialists. 

So that, coming down to actual facts, Torrey's many years of anti- 
infidel preaching has resulted in converting three alleged Freethinkers : 
One unnamed man in New Zealand, one man unknown to Freethinkers 
at Bristol, England, and a man who may have written a letter to a So- 
cialist paper. At this rate, how far will even §85,000 go towards over- 
coming the " wide-spread infidelity " of London ? 

If Torrey was anything but a conscious faker and greedy fraud, a man 
*' out for the stuff" and nothing else, he would not let the grass grow 
under his feet in his efforts to convert Ernest Pack, Charles Watts, G. 
W. Foote, Saladin, or some of the real representative Freethinkers, in- 
stead of fooling his hearers with stupid stories of mythical conversions. 

A TORREY LIE The London Daily Express recently contained 

NAILED. one of Torrey's latest stories. It stated that a 

canvass had recently been made at the large 
seed establishment of Messrs. Sutton, at Reading, and 600 professed 
infidels were found among the employees. These were all taken up to 
London to hear Torrey at Albert Hall, and many of them were converted 
by Torrey's eloquence. A gentleman interested in the story wrote to 
Messrs. Sutton about it, and received this reply : 

" The Royal Seed Establishment, Reading, March 7, '05. 
" Dear Sir, — In reply to your letter of yesterday's date, the paragraph 
you refer to had no foundation. No such visit was ever made or even 
thought of. " We are, dear sir, yours faithfully, 

" Sutton and Sons." 

This letter is published by Mr. Foote in the London Freethinker, in 
which are also exposed several other falsehoods related by Torrey of 
alleged converted infidels. One of the converts, he said, was a " Hyde 
Park lady lecturer," but such a lady is unknown to any Freethinker, 
and Torrey wisely withholds her name. Torrey also claims to have con- 



172 SECULAK THOUGHT. 

verted four English Church clergymen ! This, of course, is not impos- 
sible, as there are many sceptics in church pulpits, and even the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury was formerly denounced as a heretic. 

Imagine the Archbishop of Canterbury being converted to Christianity ! 
Perhaps, after all, this may not be so difficult to imagine if we consider 
what Christianity really is. Christianity, for " the faithful," means the 
acceptance of what the parson preaches and paying the church dues ; 
for the parson, it means capturing the biggest available salary and the 
highest pulpit. In this view, the Archbishop's conversion to Christianity 
is an accomplished fact ; but imagine him or any other English Church 
preacher being converted to Torreyism ! We can understand what there 
is in it for Torrey, but what would there be in it for the convert ? 

Torrey seems to be as strange a mixture of fool and rogue as might 
be found in Christendom. And his followers and dupes, what of them ? 
They are just plain Christians ; they listen and sing, 10,000 strong, 
and shout and pray, and pay the piper, while Torrey fills their ears with 
lying stories of his conquests and his pockets with cash. 

LONG OR SHORT Time was — and well within our memory — when 
SERMONS ? a sermon of from 45 to 75 minutes was the rule 

rather than the exception even in some English 
Church services ; and not many years ago we heard W. T. Stead hold 
forth for considerably over two hours in St. James's Church, Montreal — 
the big church with the big debt. But times have changed. Though 
the same old doctrines are generally professed and preached throughout 
Christendom, people are gradually acquiring a taste for something more 
lively than a theological discourse ; and it is only an occasional loud- 
mouthed revivalist or sensational preacher who can draw a big crowd of 
enthusiasts to hear the old story. 

We are apt to misjudge the significance of the bursts of enthusiasm. 
When Bible Class Newell was here about a year ago, one lady told us 
that she had not missed one of his meetings. We have no doubt the 
same remark could have been truthfully made by a large minority of the 
attendants at all such gatherings. So that, while 4,000 persons attend 
Newell's meetings in Toronto and 10,000 Torrey's in London, it is pro- 
bable that those numbers represent the great bulk of the persons in each 
case likely to be influenced by such methods. 

It seems certain, indeed, that ordinary people have largely ceased ta 



SECULAK THOUGHT. 173 



go to church for theological instruction, which they can get in far better 
shape from the printer than from the preacher ; and amusement, in the 
form of music, is gradually taking the place of devotion, so that a long 
sermon has become an anachronism. When the congregation is waiting 
to hear Miss Soprano's new song or Mr. Kornitt's new solo, the parson's 
opinions about original sin are felt to be in the way. Besides, dinner 
time is handy, and cook may grumble if her dinner is spoiled. So the 
sermon has been curtailed, until one of fifteen minutes is regarded as a 
pretty lengthy one. 

A limit, however, has been reached where the people interested have 
at length protested. Eev. G. H. Smyth-Piggott, a Somersetshire rector, 
has broken the record by introducing a series of one-minute sermons, 
and his parishioners have appealed to the bishop, who has appointed a 
commission to deal with the matter. The people want either a sermon 
of five minutes or none at all, and one witness gave this as a full report 
of a recent sermon by the rector : 

" Our text this morning is : * Lift up your heads, ye gates, and be 
ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of Glory shall come in ; ' 
and it is very suitable for this morning's service, as David, who wrote 
this, little thought he was foretelling the ascension of Our Lord Jesus 
Christ ! " 

We cannot wonder that the Toronto Telegram, from which we quote it. 
calls this. sermon a sample of the Rev. Piggott's ** lubrications," for it is 
as much like a streak of greased lightning as anything we have ever 
seen in the shape of a sermon. We are astonished, though, at the com- 
plaint of the Somersetshire rustics. Piggott is evidently a man with a 
keen sense of humor, and if he gives his parishioners longer sermons, 
these may be even less to their taste than the short ones. 

Only the other day I showed how the Daily Telegraph, owned by a 
Jew, made shekels by some '' Do We Believe ? " fudge in regard to 
Christ. Christian, a Jew will not eat pig with you, but he will buy with 
you, and sell with you, and sell you. The Jew will not worship Christ, 
but he has no objection to making money out of him. The Christians, 
too, make money out of him, and believe in him just about as much as 
does the Jew. " Do we believe? " Not one of us who is worth his salt 
believes ; but then the difficulty is, if he openly say he does not believe 
he is not likely to get salt, whether he be worth it or no. For we live 
in a world of sham, and this Christ of the vulgar is the world's biggest 
bogie, and the most shameful of all our shams. — Saladin. 



174 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



When you see an advertisement offering big wages and no experience necessary, 
don't answer. 

When somebody advertises that he will give either advice or medicine free, 
don't answer. 

Don't jump at a job because it looks very easy, there will be a fly in the 
ointment. 

Don't put off a hard looking task until you feel more able for it than now. It 
will be harder to-morrow. 

Don't go about doing good works, so as to set a good example to others. The 
world is very sinful, and your good example might not be followed, and you 
would make nothing out of it. 

Don't flatter : even if your words of praise be true, they are better unsaid, as 
flattery is the meanest form of cheating. 

Don't drink strong waters unless you really feel that you require them, and 
when you feel that way buy your own whisky. 

Don't offer advice : rather, if you would help and please others, ask them for 
guidance. 

" Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work," and, don't you forget it, you 
can't dodge the task by going about helping godolmity to rest on the seventh. 

Say not to a politician, " Lo, I did plump for my lord ; " for then will he say, 
" I wist not what thou sayest. Wert thou not also seen on Brown's platform ? " 

When thou seest a politician say after this manner, if thou wouldst prosper in 
the land that the Bosses have left unto thee : *' My lord, if thy servant have 
found grace in thy sight bid the captain of thy host to provide me armor for the 
battle, and grease for the wheels. Thy servant hath seven sons, four brethren, 
and fourteen nephews, all men that can bear the sword, and they all look to me 
for counsel." Then shall that politician fall upon thy neck and embrace thee, 
and shall say unto thee, " Now know I that we shall prevail against the adversary, 
for THOU art with me. I pray thee dine with me this night and I will take 
counsel with thee regarding this war." And to his chiel officer he will say, 
" Give this fellow a shekel of silver and a cigar, and open for him a skin of new 
wine, but see thou to it that it be done privily, so that I may be kept in ignorance 
of the matter." And thou shalt sup with him and he with thee, and it shall be 
well with thee to the extent of a shekel and a stomachful. 

Honor thy tailor and draper, that the days may be long ere he send up th^ 
spring overcoat C.OD. 

If thou art a contractor say not to an alderman : " Hast thou considered my 
tender that it is low and my work that it lasteth well against the weather ? " Say 
rather, " Wilt thou join me in a Habana Flor Fina ? " and as he stirreth up the 
sugar at the bottom thou shalt shove a fat envelope into the pocket of his coat 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 175 

and do thou say that, were it not for such as he, the City Hall would ere this 
time be given over to the beasts of the field. This do, and thy contracts shall 
expand in number. 

When thy infant son or daughter crieth aloud in the night and spareth not, if 
thou gropest for the matches and bumpest the point of the rocker with the upper 
part of thy naked foot, thou shalt not take the name of anything in vain, if it can 
be avoided. 

Remove thy hind foot from thy neighbor's footrail and thine elbows from his 
bar if thou have not the squidge, lest he weary of thee and so hate thee. 

Answer Her not when she arraigneth thee, reminding her that there are others ; 
but go thou and clean up the yard, and as thou art starting down town say thou, 
that thou wouldst be home in good time even this night wert thou sure of some 
more of that pudding of yesternight. And immediately there will be a great 
ca'm, and the thing that thou hast for a soul shall be filled with pudding. 

Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in yourself ; believe also in the 
lie of another. 

When thou doest thine alms let not thy right hand neighbor know what thou 
givest to thy left hand neighbor — if the sum be very small. 

When thou prayest, stand not in the market place, but enter in*o thy closet 
and pray for thy neighbor ^^hose dog worried thy hogs when they disported 
them midst his corn. 

He that meddleth in a dispute between a man and his wife deserveth to have 
a wife himself. 

There be three things too wonderful for us, yea, four that we would like to get 
some light on : The way a politician remembereth a last year's pledge, the way 
of a theatre goer on five dollars per week, the way the foreign mission fund goeth, 
and the way of an editor without shears and paste-pot. 

Rob not the poor, because he is poor ; but rob them that have the stuff, then 
endow a cot in a hospital and it shall be well with thy soul. 

Do not try to see thyself as thou appearest to thy neighbor, for the picture will 
be such as thou wouldst hang in the garret. 

A thirty-six-inch yard and four pecks to the bushel are an abomination to them 
that would stand before kings. 

When thou goest to the synagogue order thy way in a pious and seemly 
manner. Let thy outer garment depend from thy left arm with the silk lining 
apparent, hold thy silk tile in thy left hand, grasp thy cane about a cubit from 
the knob with thy right hand, in which also hold thy kid gloves, and thus in a 
godly manner follow the usher to thy seat. Put thy garment over the pew in 
front of thee, deposit thy tile, stick and gloves ; then bow thy head for a space 
in silent prayer; then pick out thy handkerchief, which shall be of fine linen,' 
and blow through thy proboscis that the people may be edified. 

Better is ten dollars subscribed to a testimonial or to a college than ten cents 
subscribed to a tramp. For while the tramp may satisfy his soul and not reward 
thee, the ten dollars shall come hack to thee with interest. 



176 SECULAE THOUGHT. 



Momen 'IHnber Cbrietianiti?* 

:o:-^ — 

BY G J. HOLVOAKE. 

:o: 

One of the most remarkable of the original works issued b}^ the Ra- 
tionalist Press Association is " The Beligion of Woman," by Mr. Joseph 
McCabe. In novelty of conception and easy grace of execution it will 
be considered by the reader to hold a distinctive place. It is wonderful 
seemingly that half the Christian race has been opinionless as to their 
right to equal opportunity of progress with man. They have not only 
suffered him to act as the dominant partner, but have permitted him to 
impose his religion upon them. At last they are arousing themselves. 
Eve must have been a sleepy lady, seeing how drowsy her daughters 
have been. After six thousand years they are but just awakening. If 
we remember rightly, the material of which Eve was made was asleep 
when Adam furnished it. No wonder the descendants of her sex have 
proved somnolent. They need arousing, and Mr. McCabe's book is well 
calculated for the purpose. Mdlle. Pelletier, of Paris, on the part of the 
Feminists of France, contends that the subjection of women in the Code 
Napoleon arose in the hateful doctrines of force born of militarism and 
empire. If she reads Mr. McCabe's book, she will learn, more completely 
than from any other writer, that the pernicious paramountcy of man had 
a far earlier origin. 

The book opens with a luminous account of the unsuspected mortality 
of ecclesiastical systems which had their day and were superseded by 
different ones. The evidence of this is seen in the architectural facts 
discernible in the crypts of York Minster. One aim of the author is to 
show women of this generation that they are mistaken in supposing that 
Christianity has been an advantage to them. Their pagan sisters fared 
better than Christian women ever have. About the time when Eve was 
wandering in misgiving nudity in the fireless Garden of Eden, Egyptian 
women were living in well-devised dwellings, in possession of rights, 
privileges, and honor which Christian women in no age have known. 

It is shown by Mr. McCabe that, more than two thousand years before 
the dawn of Christianity, woman was more free and honored in Egypt 
than in any country of the world to-day. She was the mistress of the 
house, equal in dignity with her husband, whose position was that of a 
privileged guest. She had the same rights as man ; she inherited pro- 
perty equally with her brothers ; she could bring actions and plead them 
in the court ; she could practise medicine ; as priestess she had autho- 
rity in her own house. While nearly nineteen centuries after the estab- 
lishment of Christianity a wife could not hold any property in England 
or America, although she had earned it, without a legal contract, as it 
became the property of her husband when married. Her husband could 
will away the property he received with her, and leave her penniless. 
She was not recognized as a citizen. She could hold no office of trust 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 177 

or power. Married, her position was little better than that of a domestic 
servant. Her husband was her master ; he could punish her with a 
stick if it were ** no bio;ger than his thumb." A man and woman who 
were married were held to be one person, and that person w^'is the man. 
He was the owner of all her real estate and her earnings. She could 
make no contract and no will without his consent. She did not own 
even a rag of her clothing ; bhe had no personal rights; and the husband 
might rob her of her fortune as well as of her rights. 

In all the early co-operative stores, a drunken husband could compel 
the savings of his wife to be paid to him to squander in thepublichouse.. 
This was the condition of subjection to which Christianity had reduced 
woman until the middle of la^^t century. 

Intelligent women, reading these astounding facts, will ask : " How 
could we have been so misled as to go on believing in Christianity under 
the impression that it had brought good to women, and that under 
paganism women were ill-used and degraded? " Early Christian priests 
were no doubt sincere believers, but they were ignorant of history. They 
were not quacks, but they acted like quacks, and disparaged — as Paul, 
who ought to have known better, did — every system but their own, so 
that ignorant believers never inquired what went before. 

Mr. McCabe explains that Christian women to-day are misled by the 
habit of preachers always dwelling on the errors and customs of the 
lowest class of pagans, and never telling their congregations of the lofty 
principles of their philosophers and the wisdom of their laws. If any- 
one were to judge Christianity by its Bill Sykes, by its Christian clergy 
who commit suicide, by its murderers who carry their Bibles about in 
their pockets, and go to the gallows with the sure and certain belief that 
they will be received into the arms of Jesus, and were to declare these 
to be the effects of Christianity, he would be denounced as libellous, 
vicious, and wilfully unfair. Yet this, as Mr. McCabe shows, is what 
Christian advocates, from St. Paul to Mr. Spurgeon, have done. No 
wonder women have been misled and imposed upon. 

Astonishment cannot but be excited at the efifrontery — there is no other 
name for it — with which modern apologists of Christianity claim that it 
saved Christianity in the Dark Ages from the darkness which their sys- 
tem undoubtedly created. No one who reads Mr. McCabe's book will 
ever be imposed upon by this misrepresentation. In a striking passage 
he describes how Continental philosophers, and J. S. Mill in England, 
began to stretch their hands across the gulf of Christian domination, and 
to take up afresh the work of Plutarch and Seneca. 

The respect in which Mr. McCabe's book differs from any other upon 
women with which I am acquainted is, that it delineates the position of 
women before Christianity began, and how the Canon Law of the Chris- 
tian system had reduced them. The author shows what the position of 
women was under Pagan culture ; then what it was under early Chris- 
tian teaching and in the long dreadful night of the Middle Ages ; and, 



178 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

further, how little the Reformation did for them and the heterodox 
advocacy which has hrought about the improvement in their condition 
which at last happily set in. 

Neither Egyptian nor Roman religion preached the inferiority of wo- 
men as the Christian religion has. Hebrew ignorance and fanaticism 
supplanting Grecian and Roman philosophy was a calamity that women 
have still to deplore. Let feminine believers look to the advantages en- 
joyed by women in Egypt, in Japan, in Greece and Rome, before the 
blight of Christianity fell upon the world. They will read with wonder 
the facts recorded in Mr. McCabe's pages. Let anyone compare the 
grand and tolerant sentiments towards women with the sensuous and 
tyrannous polygamy of the Old Testament and the utter barrenness of 
the New, as to any inspiration, or even recognition, of the equality of 
women. 

If women are to rise in the social scale, they must choose a religion 
of progress. Their subjugation has been effected by a spurious piety. 
Mr. McCabe is right in saying that the cause of the economic and social 
■^emancipation of women has been conspicuously advocated by persons 
independent of the churches. Mr. Gladstone, in his first Newark ad- 
dress, 1832, rightly owned that slavery was justified by the Bible. No 
man could be the friend of the slave or of women without discarding 
the divine authorities of Church scripture. 

I began in 1847 to show what steps women could take to assert their 
independence. This may be why this book was sent to me to review. It 
is inscribed to Mr. George Anderson, to whom the reader will be grateful 
for suggesting so instructive a work. 

The author has an ecclesiastical mind and a wide range of theological 
knowledge. Mr. McCabe is one of those converts from Catholicism who 
owe their views neither to passion nor to resentment, but to the simple 
force of reason. Like Cardinal Newman, he has changed his faith 
without losing his fine taste, and he is a controversialist who never 
deflects from fairness. He has the power of analyzing facts, and is free 
from exaggeration in inference or in statement of their significance. His 
style is unpretentious, but everywhere logical, fresh, and virile. His 
pages resemble a vinery, in which the grapes of thought hang in clus- 
ters, tempting all who see to pluck them. — Literary Guide. 



NEW YORK'S GREAT WATERWORKS DAM.— One of the greatest 
engineering works ever undertaken in the world has just been completed— the 
new Crolon Waterworks Dan), for supplying water to New York city. This new 
dam has been buiilt lower down the valley than the old dam, and rises 30 feet 
above the old level. It is estimated that it will take two years for the reservoir 
to fill up, when it will form a lake sixteen miles long and contain 30,000,000,000 
gallons of water. The dam and connected works have taken ten years to build 
and have cost $9,000,000. The reservoir covers the sites of half a dozen towns 
and villages. Tor the Future, it is now proposed to tap Lake Erie. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 179' 



1?cU9(on ae lEmotion mt> Boctrinc 

:o: 

BY B. F. UNDERWOOD. 

:o: 

I CONCEIVE religion under two aspects — primarily as a predisposition or tendency 
to worship, to reverence the enseen cause of phenomena, and secondarily as a 
body or system of belief and doctrine in regard to the unseen and unknown. 

Religion, both as a predisposition and as doctrine, is experiential — is a product 
of observation and reflection, and in the latter aspect, also of heredity. 

The predisposition, connate in the civilized man, was an emotion caused in 
the savage ancestral mind by the impressions produced upon it by the forces of 
the external world. 

The religious aptitude, a priori in the individual of to-day, was experiential in 
his ancestors. 

Religion, the recognition of unseen causes of phenomena, and the correspond- 
ing emotions, is universal or almost universal, because man's nature and environ- 
ment are everywhere essentially the same. 

There are a few tribes that seem not to have grown up to the point of thinking 
at all on the mystery of being, and that have no religion — at least, none strong 
and well-defined enough to be perceptible to travellers like Moffatt and Livingston. 

Whether religion is universal, as Lubbock observes, depends upon the definition 
given to religion. The baying of a dog at the moon is as religious as are the 
performances, supposed to be religious, of some savage tribes. 

Religion from its inception is subject to, or rather is the product of evolution- 
ary processes. It is always and everywhere natural ; nowhere supernatural. 

Civilized man was evolved from savagery, and savage man was evolved from 
lower animals. The whole process has been, viewed from a broad outlook, an 
orderly one. There has been no intrusion of powers that are not a part of 
Nature. 

All conceptual gods and all book revelations are the natural outgrowth of the 
human mind. 

Fueurbach says : *' God is the projectivity of man*s subjectivity." That is to 
say man, the subject, thinks of God, the cause or basis of phenomena, as an 
object in terms of humanity. As Schiller observes : '' Man paints himself in his 
gods." The greatest of poets says : 

*' Imagination bodies forth 
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen 
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing 
A local habitation and a name." 

" An honest god is the noblest work of man," says Ingersoll. 

Henotheism, Polytheism,, Monotheism^. Cosraism, Agnosticism, eighteenth. 



180 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



century Materialism — represented by Baron de Holbach — all represent phases 
and stages of religion whirh, however different, are equally natural and necessary. 

Animism, Spiritism and Spiritualism, "Christian Science," Theosophy, etc., 
are so many forms of natural, mental and moral conditions. 

Religion, in the developed mind, does not mean necessarily belief in divine 
personality. Ancient Buddhism "had," as Max Mueller says, " no altars, not 
even an altar to the Unknown God." 

There is no difference between superstition and religion, except that one is 
discarded and the other is still in vogue. One of the dictionaries' definitions of 
superstition is : " Belief in a religious system regarded (by others than the 
believer) as unreasonable and without support ; a false religion or any of its rites." 

Paul's words on Mars Hill, " too superstitious " (as given in the authorized 
version of the New Testament), should be rendered "very religious," or "exces- 
sively religious." 

Hobbes said that religion is superstition in fashion, and that superstition is 
religion out of fashion. This seems to be about the only actual difference. Out- 
grown superstitions are seen to be such by those who, nevertheless, cherish other 
superstitions which they insist are religion, and the true religion, the pure article 
with the divine stamp on it. 

To me, all dogmas assuming knowledge of what may lie beyond the phe- 
nomenal world are superstitious. But superstition is wholly natural, as natural 
as ignorance is among the millions, or as science is among the few. 

There are, of course, many conflicting conceptions and definitions of religion. 
Religion was viewed by Miss Nesbii in " Dred " in the light of a ticket which, 
being purchased and snugly laid away in a pocketbook, is to be produced at the 
celestial gate, thus securing admission into heaven. 

Theodore Parker thus refers to the popular religion : " A man is a Christian 
if he goes to church, pays his pew-tax, bows to the parson, and is as good as 
other people." 

Emerson says : " Fashionable religion visits a man diplomatically three or four 
times — when he is born, when he is married, when he falls sick, and when he 
dies, and for the rest never interferes with him." 

These are mere caricatures of religion. 

The higher aspects of religion were defined by Matthew Arnold as " Morality 
touched by emotion," and by James Martineau as " The culminating meridian of 
morals." 

Among the philosophical definitions of religion is that of Schelling, who 
defines it as the " union of the subjective and the objective ; " of Schleiermacher, 
who declares that religion is " the immediate self-consciousness of the absolute 
dependence of all finite upon the infinite ; " of Shelley, who speaks of it as 
" man's perception of the finite and the infinite." Other definitions are : " The 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 181 

recognition of an ideal ; " " The expression of man's relation to the universe ; " 
" The recognition of the power behind phenomena." 

Neither in thought nor in conduct are religion and morality necessarily united. 
In ancient Rome the thief prayed for success in his crime, and made an offering 
of the first-fruits of his plunder ; a youth entreated Hercules to expedite the 
death of a rich uncle ; the adultress implored Venus for the favor of her paramour. 
Mommsen says : " A wager might be laid that the more lax any woman was, the 
more piously she worshipped Isis." 

"Do we excel in intellect and learning, in decency and morals ?" asked 
Melancthon. " By no means. But we excel in true knowledge and worship of 
God." 

Dr. Schaff (in the Princeton Review, Sept., 1879) remarks : 

"The negroes are very religious by nature, and. infidelity is scarcely known 
among them ; but their moral sense of honesty and chastity is very weak." 

Schleiermacher says : 

" Religion belongs to the domain neither of science nor of morality, is essen- 
tially neither knowledge nor conduct, but is emotion only, specified in Nature 
and inherent in the immediate consciousness of each individual man. Hence 
comes the vast variety of religious conceptions and religious systems observed in 
the world — variety, not only thus to be accounted for, but apprehended as a 
necessity of human nature." 

Commenting upon the above passage. Dr. Willis, Spinoza's biographer, ob- 
serves : 

"This view of Schleiermacher was an immense advance on all previously 
entertained ideas of the nature and true worth of the religious idea, and has not 
yet been generally appreciated in all its significance. When we recognize it, 
however, we readily understand how religious emotion may be associated with 
crime and immorality as well as with the highest moral excellence ; how a Jacques 
Clement and Balthazar Gerard may confess themselves to the priest, and take 
the sacrament of the body and blood of the Savior by way of strengthening them 
in their purpose to commit the crimes that have made their names infamous ; 
how punctilious attention to Bible reading and devout observance among 
criminals of a less terrible stamp do not necessarily imply hypocrisy and cunning, 
as so commonly assumed, when these unhappily constituted beings are found 
again engaged in their objectionable courses. The piety — the religion— displayed 
is a perfectly truthful manifestation of the emotional element in the nature of 
man which seeks and finds satisfaction in acts implying intercourse with Deity, 
but neither seeks nor finds satisfaction in acts of honesty and virtuous life in the 
world. We have here an explanation of how it happens that our penitentiaries 
are filled with the worst sort of criminals, whose lives, prior to the detection of 
their crimes, were characterized by eminent piety and a strict regard for religious 
observances." 

The extract from Dr. Willis will help us to understand what the learned and 
profound writer, Lange, means when he says : 



182 SECULAK THOUGHT. 

^' Unusual piety is in the popular eyes either genuine saintship or a wicked 
cloak for all that is vile. For the psychological subtlety of the mixture of genuine 
religious emotions with coarse selfishness and vicious habits, the ordinary mind 
has no ai)preciation." 

The mere stimulus of religious emotion and the revival of religious beliefs 
may do more harm than good. What is needed is the development of the 
moral nature, as well as the intellectual, so that the manifestations of religion will 
be in accordance with justice and wisdom. With the mental or moral nature 
undeveloped, reh'gious zeal is dangerous in proportion as it is unrestrained. 



Some lt)iew6 on Clergi^men an& of ClerQijmen^ 

:o: 

MY A. CORN, SR., STRATFORD. 

:o: 

For the past eighteen or twenty years — ever since Rev. Peter Wright took his 
departure for " fresh fields and pastures new," Rev. M. L. Leitch has had charge 
of the souls of the very large congregation of KnoK Church of this city. The 
congregation has materially increased and the church has been enlarged during 
his incumbency, but whether this is due to his efforts or to an increasing birth- 
rate — Scotch families are proverbially large — we are not certain. At all events, 
to do the Rev. Mr. Leitch justice, he has labored very assiduously in the cause 
of Knox ChuFch. Two years ago, thinking that he might make a few more 
converts, he engaged the services of two of the greatest religious fakirs of the 
nineteenth century : to wit, Crossley and Hunter. For eight or ten nights Knox 
Church was packed every evening by all sorts and conditions of humanity to 
hear these meagrely educated cads descant on matters fit only for the lecture 
hall. Their flippant manner demonstrated their lack of knowledge of the sub- 
jects they pretended to discuss. They possess, to do them justice, a certain 
knowledge of human weaknesses, and to these they make their appeal ; hence 
their success in drawing the crowds they do. What a grand work they did ! 
Many who had not got religion (?) were sorry they hadn't, and numbers of those 
who had were sorry for it. They were principally sorry they had parted with 
their coin. As your readers are probably aware, these "Come to Jesus" 
meetings must be paid for in coin of the realm. 

Crossley and Hunter made money here, and that is the most that can be said 
in their favor. But the pastor of Knox Church, what of him ? Oh, he has 
resigned, it is said by those in the inside ring ; while those more outspoken say 
his resignation was asked for. Whatever the reason may be, the Rev. Leitch is 
out of business as far as being a pulpit ornament is concerned, and he is now 
engaged as a stockbroker in this city. As a humorous writer puts it : " He 
formerly led the band, and now he is only a third trombone player." 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 18a 

A novel case was tried at the assize court at Grand Rapids, Mich., recently. 
Dr. A. Turnbull, of that city, sued the Bell Telephone Company for libel. The 
libel consisted of pjblishing Dr. TurnbuH's name as '* Rev. Mr. Turnbull" in 
their directory. Dr. Turnbull thought, and very properly so, too, that his repu- 
tation had suffered in consequence, so he instituted proceedings for libel, laying 
damages at $2,000. The jury gave him a verdict for $1,000 with costs. Com- 
ment is unnecessary. 

Rev. \V. McMullen delivered an address at the Methodist Theological Con- 
ference, Toronto, recently, on " Spiritual Dynamics." Searching for the elements 
that were impeding "spiritual progress," multiplicity of the preacher's duties was 
predominant. The preacher had little time for private devotion and thought, 
through "church meetings, conventions, etc., besides canvassing for the church 
paper, conducting local option campaign, and visiting without cessation." 

That " spiritual progress is being impeded," is certainly an admission for a 
preacher to make ; and the reasons he gives for this decline are amusing. Is 
there an educated man or woman in Canada that believes the reverend gentle- 
man's statement ? Do you, dear reader ? Don't you, as a matter of fact, see 
something above and beyond the cheap talk of the divine ? Do you not see that 
science rules modern thought as completely as art and learning ruled Italian 
thought in the sixteenth century. And the more we can get the public educated 
up to the idea of thinking for itself, the more universal will this idea become. 

The Presbyterian^ published in Toronto, giving a weekly review of Canadian 
church life and work, in a recent issue, under the heading " Pauperizing the 
Ministry," observes : 

" It was- announced in the press last week that owing to the fact that the 
supply of clergy had fallen short of the requirements of the Church in England, 
it was proposed to establish a college or hostel in connection with the University 
of Durham, at which young men, sons of clergymen, and others who seem fitted 
for the work, should receive preparation gratuitously for the Christian ministry. 
It was also stated that Rev. J. VVakeham, a distinguished English clergyman, is 
now visiting Canada for the purpose of making the project known and raising 
the funds for the purpose. PVom many quarters there comes the cry of a lack of 
suitable young men as candidates for the ministry. For this many reasons are 
assigned, chief among them being the great increase in lucrative openings which 
make a strong appeal to ambitious and energetic young men, and the decline \n 
spirituality in the homes of the people. Whatever be the real cause of the 
shortage complained of, it is morally certain that the plan indicated alx)ve is not 
the way to remedy it. The general adoption of such a policy would work incal- 
culable harm in the lowering of the whole standard of the ministry." 

" Pauperizing the ministry " is certainly the right description to give of the 
work undertaken by Mr. VVakeham. Begging always has been the chief work of 
" the ministry." Canadian preachers have for generations gone over to England 
to beg money to establish new churches in this country ; and now Mr. Wakeham 



184 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



comes here begging for cash to turn clodhoppers into preachers to fill the useless 
pulpits their predecessors erected. Well, if people choose to give of their hardly 
earned money to further increase the horde of social parasites called clergymen, 
we suppose that they feel that it is the right thing to do, and we have no ground 
upon which to oppose their doing it. It is a pity, however, that the public 
school teachers are not so trained as to be able to make their pupils understand 
and appreciate the dignity and usefulness of an honorable commercial or indus- 
trial career compared with the fakerish character of the calling of a preacher. 

In a limited space in this magazine we cannot publish as many opinions on 
this subject as we would wish, but in this issue we give enough to demonstrate 
that the public is at last awakening to the fact that it has been bamboozled long 
enough. A healthy public spirit is growing, and all it requires is nurturing. 



:o: 



Believe as I believe — no more, no less ; 

That I am right, and no one else, confess ; 

Feel as I feel ; think only as I think ; 

Eat what I eat, and drink but what I drink ; 

Look as I look ; do always as I do ; 

And then, and only then, I'll fellowship with you. 

That I am right, and always right, I know, 
Because my own convictions tell me so ; 
And to be right is simply this : To be 
Entirely, in all respects, like me. 
To deviate a hair's breadth, or begin 
To question and to doubt or hesitate, is sin. 

I reverence the Bible, if it be 

Translated first, and then explained — by me. 

By cHurchly laws and customs I abide. 

If they with my opinions coincide. 

All creeds and doctrines I concede divine, 

Excepting those, of course, which disagree with mine. 

Let sink the drowning, if he will not swim 
Upon the plank that I throw out to him ; 
Let starve the hungry, if he will not eat 
My kind and quantity of bread and meat ; 
Let freeze the naked, if he will not be 
Clothed only in such garments as are cut for me. 

'Twere better that the sick should die than live, 

■Unless they take the medicine I give ; 

'Twere better sinners perish than refuse 

To be conformed to my peculiar views ; 

'Twere better that the world stand still than move 

In any other way than that which I approve. — Freethinker. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 185. 

'' 1kap(olani'0 ©efiance V* 

:o: 

The following Christian Evidence story has been recently going the rounds of 
the Brainless Press, being used to exhibit the triumphant superiority and power 
of the Christian faith over " heathen superstition : " 

" Queen Kapiolani, a noble-looking chieftainess of the islind of Hawaii, was 
one of the first converts to Christfanity. She was over six feet tall, a magnificent 
specimen of Hawaiian womanhood, with the 'haughty air of the ancient nobility.' 
She had immense power over her fellow-countrymen, and resolved, on becoming 
a Christian, if possible, to break the hold of grinding and degrading superstitions 
that had long enslaved them. She knew that in no other way could she do this 
than by defying Pele, the goddess of the awful volcano of Kilauea, who had her 
abode in the very crater itself. 

" Her approach and her defiance were most dramatic, for she wished to im- 
press her awe-stricken subjects with the powerlessness of Pele and the onmipo- 
tence of the true God. Slowly and in state she made her way up the mountain 
side, while the people, frightened and trembling at her audacity, followed at a 
distance. The priestess of Pele warned her aw!5y, but she kept on undaunted. 
On the edge of the crater a shelter had been built, where she passed the night, 
within sight and smell of the seething, boiling hell of fire. 

** In the morning she rose, descended into the crater as far as it was possible 
to go, and, standing upon the * black ledge,' in full view of the amazed spectators, 
who expected every minute to see her scorched and withered by the angry god- 
dess, she deliberately ate a bunch of ohelo berries, which, as sacred to the god- 
dess, no one had hitherto dared to touch, and flung the stones into the awful 
fiery lake as she cried out, ' Thus do I defy thee, O Pele ! Jehovah is my god. 
He kindles these fires, and he preserves me in breaking your tabus.^ Then, by 
herself and a few Christian followers, a hymn of praise was sung, a prayer offered 
to the true god, and the dread power of the goddess Pele, and with it that of 
many lesser divinities, was shattered for ever." 

If Kapiolani's successful experiment caused her subjects to drop their faith in 
the power of the mythical Pele, it only shows that they were were as easily led, 
if they were not so bigoted as their Christian friends. The innocent savages 
saw the point,*' if they had not mental training enough to carry the lesson to 
lis logical conclusion, and defy Jehovah as well as Pele. Naturally, the result 
would have been the same had Pele's supposed power been attributed to Yaveh, 
and had he failed to burn up his defier. 

But the Christians have had a multitude of opportunities to observe that no 
god— Jehovah any more than Pele — interferes to save foolish people from the 
effects of their folly, or takes any notice of platform or other challenges ; and yet 
they pray to their god, and say they believe he does interfere, notwithstanding 
their want of evidence, and are ready and willing to punish with everlasting fires 
all and sundry who dare to doubt the truth of their assertion. 

There is not a more immoral, stultifying, brain-muddling, or hypocritical belief 
than that in a Supreme Ruler of the Universe. " Kapiolani's defiance" is a, case 



186 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

m point. It was all very well to defy a mythical goddess, but if Kapiolani and 
the Christians with her really believed in the povver and will of Jehovah to save 
them, they would have more clearly proved their faith by jumping into the fiery 
crater and depending upon their god to keep them from harm. As it was, they 
had just as much faith as the Chicago parsons, who refused to go out into the 
lake a few miles in a boat and depend upon prayer to bring them safely home 
without oars or sails, though they might have eaj-ned $i,ooo by doing so. 

Fancy the devout missionaries lending themselves to such a piece of mere 
stage.play as this, in which they themselves could have had no faith ; but then, 
as it ever has been, all things— even lies and frauds — are good if they can be 
used to the advantage of God and the Church, 



^be IRomieb Cburcb anb progreee* 



:o:- 



Said Bishop Matz, at Logan Avenue Chapel, Denver, Colo., on Easter Sunday 
of last year : 

" In the name of society, in the name of progress, we must hurl an anathema 
against any system (call it Socialism, Collectivism, Communism, or by whatever 
name you please) which threatens to impair or remove the eternal foundations of 
charity, justice, and authority whereon society rests. We hurl an eternal anathema 
against the nefarious agents who are propagating such systems by their speeches, 
their literature, their associations, disseminating their anti-social and subversive 
doctrines, deceiving their unsuspecting victims into a social vortex by their delu- 
sive hopes of wealth and happiness. We denounce them as fiends of humanity, 
whom society, for its own salvation, should condemn to the dungeon or to the 
gallows. We call upon all friends of humanity to rally around the standard of 
Charity, Justice, and Authority, society's only safe foundations, and there defend 
humanity, if needs be, w^ith the last drop of their blood." 

I know full well that in the shadow of the churchly edifice stands the capitalist 
with his millions. I know, too, that the Catholic clergy has ramified its position 

his country until it is the practical master of the political situation As a 
significa«t evidence of the potent and wide-spread influence of the Catholic 
clergy in American politics, the following list of appointments, taken from the 
American Herald, the leading Democratic Catholic periodical of the country, is 
reproduced : 

« HE IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR US. 

** WHY OUR PEOPLE LIKE ROOSEVELT. 

" Appointed Archbishop Ryan, of Philadelphia, and Mr. Chas. J. Bonaparte 
of Baltimore, on the Indian Commission. 

" Appointed Bishop J. L. Spaulding, of Peoria, on Coal Strike Commission. 

"Appointed Lawrence O. Murray, D C.L., of New York, assistant secretary 
of the Department of Commerce and Labor. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 18T 



" Bill restoring the rations to the Catholic Indian Mission schools passed by 
Congress and signed by President Roosevelt. 

" Appointed ex-Secretary of State John T. McDonough, of New York, as 
territorial judge for the Philippine Islands. 

" Appointed Wm. A. Byrne, of Delaware, assistant U. S. District Attorney. 

"Appointed Joseph Murray, of New York, Dep. Superinten't of Immigrationi 

" Appointed E. A. Philbin, of New York, Dist. Attorney of N. Y. County. 

"Appointed E. J. Sullivan, of New York, U. S. Consul to Trebizonde. 

"Appointed Charles H. McKenna, of Pittsburg, as judge in Porto Rico. 

" .Appointed Dominick I. Murphy secretary oi the Panama Commission. 

"Appointed full quota of army and navy chaplains to which Catholics were 
entitled, the first lime in the history of this country. 

"Appointed a majority of Catholics on the Supreme Court of the Phiilippines. 

" Appointed Catholic Secretary of Education of the Philippines, and 3.^700 
Catholic teachers out of a total of 4,500. 

" Appointed 20 Catholic Governors of Provinces of the Philippines out of a 
total of 26." 

This article was sent by the million to the working-class members of the Ca- 
tholic Church whose votes were wanted. It is noted that the humble members 
of the church did not share in the emoluments. The perquisites of office were 
reserved for the well-groomed and well-fed " leaders." 

You can begin to understand the concern of Bishop Matz at the prospect of 
the party which had been so good to his friends being turned out for all time, 
as the Socialists propose shall be done 

In this connection, it is interesting to recall that on February 25, '03, the late 
Senator Hanna sent a telegram to the Haverhill Gazette^ in which he outlined 
the campaign which the Republican National Committee proposed to wage 
against Socialism. After enumerating various agencies to be used, he added 
significantly that " there were other effective means at hand." 

The " other effective means " proves to be the Catholic clergy. 

The Boston Evening Globe, one year later (Feb. 23, '04), reprinted the follow- 
ing extract fiom a conversation between the late President McKinley and Senator 
Hanna. Hanna said : 

"The day is coming when Socialism will become rampant, and in that 

hour, Mr. President (and I am not afraid to say it here and elsewhereX the ffag 
must rely on its staunch friends, and amf>ng them, in my opinion, our greatest 
protectors will be the Supreme Court of the United States and the Roman 
Catholic Church." 

On another occasion, speaking on the same subject to P. J. O'Keefe, of the 
New World (CatholicX Hanna said : 

" 1 believe the best friend and protector the people and the flag of our country 
will have in its hour of trial will be the Roman Catholic Church, always con- 
servative, and fair, and loyal ! That is the power I look to to save the 
nation ! " 

Now you begi» to see the connection, do you not "^—Appeal to Reascm. 



188 SECULAE THOUGHT. 



MISCELLANEOUS 



LITTLE LESSONS FROM LIFE. 

Men are righteous, men are bad, Whether the world is kind or cold 

According to the meal they've had. Depends upon the job you hold. 

Pursuing things we think will bless, Toiling's useless or worth while 

We lose the blessings we possess. According to your store of bile. 

How can life be reckoned sweet The future's drear and dark or bright. 

By him whose new shoes pinch his To match the dreams you had last 
feet ? night. 

— S. E. Riser, 



HERCULANEUM TO BE EXHUMED.— A mine of great wealth now 
awaits the pick and spade of the archseologist, and the prospects are that the 
explorations will commence in the near future. All other discoveries among the 
ruins of ancient cities, s ) far as practical results are concerned, will be small in 
comparison to these. That mine is no less than the resurrection of Herculaneum, 
only eight miles distant from the ruins of Pompeii, and buried at the same time, 
in the year 79. Pompeii was covered with hot ashes, scoria and cinders from 
Mt. Vesuvius ; but a torrent of mud spread over Herculaneum, to which 
additions have subsequently been made, until now from 80 to 120 feet of debris 
overlies the buried city. 

Pompeii was a commercial town. Not a single manuscript was found while 
making the explorations. In the sister city, the home of Grecian art and 
literature, 1,750 papyri were found while exploring one small villa. It is believed 
a vast amount of ancient learning will be restored to the world in exhuming 
Herculaneum ; and it is hoped the lost books of Livy, giving a history of the 
Roman empire, which originally embraced 140 books, only 25 of which remain, 
will come to light. A sea of mud from the volcano overwhelmed the city, and 
buried all in a common ruin, the very site being lost until within a hundred and 
fifty years, hence everything must remain as it was when the calamity came. 
And, best of all, no priestly hands have had access to what is buried there to 
manipulate in the interest of the church and a more modern faith. 

As Italy is unable to meet the great expense of unearthing the lost city, it is 
proposed the present literary nations unite in the undertaking, and jointly pursue 
the work of exhumation. 

Pompeii added greatly to our knowledge of a remote civilization ; but Hercu- 
laneum will give us treasures of which the world has no conception. 



BURMESE DIVORCES.— Divorce procedure in Burmah is simple. If a 
husband and wife decide that life together is an impossibility she goes out and 
buys two little candles of equal size, made especially for the use of the unhappily 
wedded. She brings the candles home and then she and her husband sit down 
upon the floor, placing the candles between them. The candles are lighted at 
the same moment, and one represents the husband, the other the wife. The pair 
watch the burning tapers anxiously, for custom declares that the owner of the 
one which goes out first is at once to leave the house. The second candle may 



SECULAB THOUGHT. 189 



only flicker out a moment later, but its possessor remains owner of the house 
and all its contents, his or her late partner going away with nothing but the 
clothes worn at the moment. 



ANOTHER "INFIDEL STRUCK DEAD" FALSEHOOD.— In the 

Truth Seeker of March i8 we alluded to a story concerning a Mr. Bossy of 
Winamac, Ind., who is said to have fallen dead in church under the powerful 
influence of a Mr. McCarey, revivalist. The story ran that the Rev. James 
McCarey was conducting a protracte 1 meeting, and just before the congregation 
was dismissed he began a fervent exhortation to sinners to repent. While he 
was talking, Richard Bossy, a confessed unbeliever in religion, stepped into the 
church. As the Rev. Mr. McCarey's eyes rested on the Infidel, he exclaimed r 
"There is one unbeliever in this congregation, a sinner who canro: be saved 
from death unless he becomes a Christian." As the words were uttered, there 
was an exclamation of pain from Mr. Bossy, and he fell to the floor uttering the 
single word " Oh 1" A member of the congregation ran to him, but he was 
dead when the man reached him. One of our correspondents, Mr. H. \V. Morse, 
of Idaho, read the gruesome tale in a daily paper, and was sufficiently in'erested 
to write to the postmaster of Winamac, who answered him thus: 

" Dear Sir, — I can find no verification of the story. More than likely it ori- 
ginated in the brain of Col. J. T. Hey, a newspaper correspondent of this place. 
If so, I could not vouch for its correctness. Very resp'y, H. W. McDowell, P.M.'' 

Thus is destroyed another of those pleasant aids to Christian revival work. 
But there is no probability that the tale will be withdrawn from circulation by 
the religious press. It will continue " on its travels, going from Sunday school 
to Sunday school, from pulpit to pulpit, from hypocrite to savage — that is to say, 
from missionary to Hottentot — without the slightest evidence of fatigue— fres^ 
and strong, and in its cheeks the roses and lilies of perfect health." But we 
wouldn't like to have the reputation Col. J. T. Hey has acquired. — New York 
Truth Seeker. 

But how can you expect a system of ignorant superstition to be propagated 
except by lies and humbug? Could it be helped by truth.? 

No " revival " has ever succeeded unless by the resurrection of a number of 
old falsehoods about non-Christians, dressed in new clothes. 

How can you expect revivals to be got up except on a basis of exaggeration 
and falsehood ? 

One point in the story will be noted. The revivalist said the infidel could not 
be saved " unless he became a Christian." But the man died instantly — he had 
no time for conversion. This lapse only proves the folly as well as the dishonesty 
of the inventor. 



TOTAL DEPRAVITY.— A minister travelling through the West in a mis- 
sionary capacity, several years ago, was holding an animated theological conver- 
sation with a good old lady on whom he had called, and in the course of it he 
isked her what she thought of the doctrine of total depravity. 

"Oh," the old lady replied, " I think it's a good doctrine, if people would only 
live up to it." 



Religion and money mixed well together, and seasoned with a little politics,, 
will produce the finest brand of blasphemy. — J, S. Odegaard. 



190 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 



A READY-MADE SPEECH WHICH 
WON A SEAT. 

Campbellton is said to have been 
the scene of one of the best electioneer- 
ing stories that are told in Scotland. 
It was in the days of nearly a quarter 
of a century ago, that a candidate rose 
to address a crowded gathering of the 
voters in that place of the wine of the 
country. He was not an orator ; he 
did not even write his own speeches ; 
and the enemy said that the margins 
of his foolscap pages were illuminated 
by such remarks as " Here take a 
drink," " Here pause for applause," 
" Here sink your voice." However 
that may be, it so befell that the 
gentleman who composed this particu- 
lar speech introduced a few words at 
the head of a page by way of joke, that 
had no special bearing on the subject 
matter of the speech itself. The can- 
didate was fulminating against the 
Turk when, turning the page, he cried 
out at the pitch of his voice, " Here 
blow your nose and take a glass of 
water." The effect was electrical. 
There was a moment's pause, and then 
the mirth began. The speaker himself 
held on by the table and laughed till 
he nearly fell down. The chairman 
doubled up and shrieked. The gentle- 
men on the platform leaned up against 
one another, yelled, and wept copiously 
on their own and one another's bosoms, 
and the audience generally rocked and 
raved in a hysteria of merriment. 
After such an enjoyable interlude, 
what could the electors do but vote for 
the candidate who had so written his 
name on an anecdotage of the burghs 1 
And to Westminster he went accord- 
ingly. 



COMMON SENSE PHILOSOPHY. 

A man buys a silver, gold, or lead 
mine or an oil well he has never seen, 
and it makes him a millionaire. — 
That's luck. 

A man buys a yearling at a trotting 
sale for $15 that in its three-year-old 
form develops a 2.06J gait. — That's 
judgment. 

A man takes a hammer worth 60 
cents, and makes $1.85 per day, — 
That's labor. 

A man takes a farm worth $5 an 
acre, and by his labor and knowledge 
makes it worth $50 an acre. — That's 
farming. 

A man takes a piece of steel worth 
15 cents and makes of it watch springs 
worth $100.— That's skill. 

Tennyson took a worthless sheet of 
paper, wrote a poem on it, and made 
it worth $65,000.— That's genius. 

A merchant buys an article worth 
75 cents and sells it for $1. — That's 
business. 

Vanderbilt wrote a few words on 
a sheet of paper and it was worth 
$5, 000, 000. -That's capital. 

The United States bought an ounce 
of gold (such as cannibals worship), 
stamped on it an " Eagle Bird," and 
it is worth $20. — That's money. 

A lady purchases a good hat for $5, 
but she prefers a fancier one that costs 
$25. — That's foolishness. 



Old records in Genoa say that it cost 
$7,000 to discover America. No one 
will deny that America was cheap at 
the price. 



SECULAK THOUGHT. 



191- 



WHAT IS QOOD? 

" What is the real good ?" 
I asked in musing mood. 
" Order," said the law court ; 
" Knowledge," said the school ; 
" Truth," said the wise man ; 
" Pleasure," said the fool ; 
" Love," said the maiden ; 
" Beauty," said the page ; 
" Freedom," said the dreamer ; 
" Home," said the sage ; 
" Fame," said the soldier ; 
" Equity," the seer. 
Spake my heart full sadly^ 
" The answer is not here." 
Then within my bosom 
Softly this I heard : 
" Each heart holds the secret ; 
Kindness is the word." 

— John Boyle CyReilly. 



A SYHPOSIUn. 

" What is the secret of success ? " 
asked the Sphinx. 

"Push," said the Button. 
"Take pains," said the Window. 
"Never be led," said the Pencil. 
" Be up to date/' said the Calendar. 
"Always keep cool," said tlie Ice. 
" Do business on tick," said the 

l.M^k. 

X(?ver lose your head," said the 

l'.;u-!vl. 

"Do a driving business,** said the 
Hammer. 

"Aspire to greatf»r things," said the 
Nutmeg. 

" Make light of everything," said 
^^e Fire. 

^^B**Make much of small things," said 
^^■Microscope. 
^^^^Wever do anything offhand," said 

r 



"Spend much time in reflection," 
said the Mirror. 

" Do the work you are suited for,'^ 
said the Flue. 

" Get a good pull with the ring," 
said the Door-bell. 

" Be sharp in all your dealings," 
said the Knife. 

" Find a good thing and stick to it„" 
said the Glue. 

"Trust to your stars for success," 
said the Night. 

" Strive to make a good impression," 
said the Seal. — Life. 



I AM GREAT AND YOU ARE SMALL. 

A sparrow swinging on a branch 

Once caught a passing fly. 
" Oh, let me live," the insect prayed. 

With trembling, piteous cry. 
" No," said the sparrow, "you must fall, 
For I am great and you are small." 

The bird had scarce begun his feast 

Before a hawk came by. 
The game was caught. " Pray let me 
live ! " 

Was now the sparrow's cry. 
" No," said the captor, " you must fall,. 
For I am great and you are small." 

An eagle saw the rogue, and swooped 

Upon him from on high. 
" Pray let me live ! Why would you kill 

So small a bird as I ? " 
" Oh," said the eagle, " you must fall. 
For I am great and you are small." 

But while he ate the hunter came ; 

He let the arrow fly : 
" Tyrant," the eagle shrieked, " you have 

No right to make me die ! " 
" Ah," said the hunter, " you must fall. 
For I am great and you are small." 

— Ttandatgd /torn the Qenttau. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 




In the press and will be published in afewdaysJgi'Slni 

iSi 

NTSSIA. ^ 

an ®lt) Morl& Storij. 



By M. C. O'BYRNE, 

Author of " Song of the !iges and Other Poems,'' " Upon This Rock,'] 
" Love and Labor ." 



TORONTO, CANADA : 
M. Ellis, Printer and Publisher, i85>^ Queen St. West. 



iffiid&ififdBiBiiy 
















fmi^S^fSJMlSl 



si^if^ 



51^12 



Hi 



In this work, Mr. O' Byrne has woven an 
old-world story into a poem of intense in- 
terest and of wonderful grace and power. 

We think that since the days when ** The 
Corsair," *^ The Giaour," ^^The Cenci," 
and their companion works startled and 
delighted a world of critics, there has not 
appeared a poem the equal of Mr. O' Byrne's 
new work. 

** Nyssia " forms a neat volume of about 
90 pages post 8vo. ; it is printed with new 
type on heavy paper, and will be handsomely 
bound in blue cloth with gold lettering, 
price $1.00, post free; an edition in heavy 
paper wrapper will be issued, price 60c. 



5ifflr& 

in 

Hi 

5lS& 



SEC ULAE THOUGHT 

A Fortnightly Journal of Rational Criticism in 
Politics, Science, and Religion. 

J. 5. ELLIS, Editor. NEW SERIES. C. H. ELLIS, Bus. Mgr. 

VOL. XXXI. No. 7. TORONTO, APRIL 15, 1905. loc; $2 per ann. 

Zbc ]fall of Superetition an& ^^ranni?^ 

:o: 

Fear not the tyrants shall rule for ever, 
Or the priests of the bloody faith ; 
They stand on the brink of that mighty river 
Whose waves they have tainted with death : 
It is fed from the depths of a thousand dells, 
Around them it foams, and rages, and swells ; 
And their swords and their sceptres I floating see. 
Like wrecks, on the surge of eternity. 

— Shelley. 

EDITORIALS. 

THE KUSSO- Never before in the history of the world has 

JAPANESE WAE. there been such a vast and thrilling dramatic 
situation as that presented by both the naval 
and the military forces of the belligerents in the Far East. The two 
fleets now rapidly approaching, and the immense armies confronting 
€ach other in Manchuria, are by far the most powerful that have ever 
been brought together in such a portentous struggle; and literally 
the whole world is in a fever of anxiety to hear the sound of the first 
gun that will announce the opening of a conflict upon the issue of which 
must largely dei^end the fate of a great empire and of a race, the future 
l)eace of the world and the progress of civilization, and possibly a not 
inconsiderable change in the political geography of the Orient. 

We need not compare the strength of the fleets or the armies of the 
l)elligerents. The war so far has shown that, while bravery and skill 
have been displayed to a remarkable degree on both sides, the spirit of 
patriotic devotion of the Japanese has carried them through difficulties 



194 SECULAE THOUGHT. 



as great as any that have ever been encountered by brave men. Port 
Arthur, Liao-yang, and Mukden will be names for the military chronicler 
to conjure with for many years to come, even if still more stirring events 
should follow before the Angel of Peace once more appears. 

The Eiissian fleet and its commander gained an unenviable notoriety 
by their cowardly slaughter of the Doggerbank fishermen, but there can 
be no doubt that since then Kojestvensky has proved himself an able 
commander, and has his ships in good condition. As for Admiral Togo, 
he has earned a reputation as a brave and skilful man equal to that of 
any man that ever sailed a ship. 

When Marathon and Salamis were fought, the tale was known to but 
a fraction of the world ; when Alexander crossed to India, he practically 
disappeared for a time from Western eyes, like Livingstone or Stanley 
in the African jungles ; even when Leipsic and Borodino, Trafalgar and 
Waterloo were fought, the curtain was raised but slowly to show the 
tragedy to a largely indifferent world. Tennyson, with a poet's licence, 
tells us that " all the world wondered " at the little tragedy at Balaclava, 
but the gigantic drama that is in preparation in Manchuria and in the 
China Sea is being staged with all the resources of two great empires 
and with the whole civilized world as spectators. In a second of time, 
a lightning flash will dart the news to every corner of the globe, and an 
hour after the curtain falls, the tidings of good or ill will be known to 
nearly every son of man. 

At this present time, there is hardly a corner of the world where the 
stage properties of the dreadful conflict are not being eagerly discussed, 
the chances of victory weighed, and the hopes and fears of the antago- 
nists shared almost as if they were those of the eager spectators. It is 
felt that in this terrible contest are involved, not only the lives of thou- 
sands of brave men, but the liberties and destiny of many millions of 
the human race. In the truest sense, all the world is one vast theatre, 
with a gladiatorial show in grimmest earnest on the stage. There are a 
million of armed performers ready to deal death and destruction to their 
utmost capacity, and twelve hundred millions of spectators awaiting the 
onset. 

And the prospects of peace ? Nothing is clearer than the fact, that 
while the destinies of nations are in the hands of the class of politicians 
and their allies the priests, and while the mass of men are so ignorant 
that their passions can be aroused by appeals to class, race and religious 
prejudice, permanent peaee ia out of the q^uesiion ; and we are justified. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 195 

therefore, in saying that there is not a solitary nation on the face of the 
earth that is free from the risk of war on these grounds. When we look 
at nations like Russia, Germany, Turkey, etc., where the question of life 
or death for individuals or peace or war with other nations can be deter- 
mined by one man, backed by an oligarchy, an aristocracy, or a power- 
ful priesthood and military caste, we can see how utterly hopeless is the 
prospect of universal peace. Looking, too, both at Britain and at our 
southern neighbors, we see how easy it is for elected and temporary 
rulers to play into the hands of religious bigots and unscrupulous and 
greedy plutocrats and monopolists, and to visibly enhance the risks of 
both foreign and civil war ; nor can we see much prospect of success for 
any policy but one of temperate and rational language on the part of 
all fair-minded men, and an effort to regard all matters in dispute from 
an impartial standpoint. A condition of permanent peace can only be 
brought about by unifying the interests of all mankind ; and at present 
such an idea is almost as far from the minds of trade union laborers as 
it is from those of the multi-millionaires. 

** DIVINE The late earthquake in North-western India is 

PROVIDENCE " said to have caused the death of over 13,000 per- 

AND sons. Jehovah, say the missionaries, protected 

EARTHQUAKES. them, so that none of them lost their lives. The 

brutal stupidity of making any conscious being 
responsible for this wholesale destruction of innocent human beings is 
only equalled by the childish vanity which causes the missionaries (like 
most Christians) to think themselves so superior to the rest of mankind 
that the supposed Supreme Ruler of the Universe will hold out his pro- 
tecting hand to them, while slaughtering thousands of others equally 
good, if not of the same religious stripe. 

The missionaries continually bless God that he has favored them by 
causing them to be born in a Christian land. They taught us at school 
to ffljag — 

" I thank the goodness and the grace which on my birth have smiled, 
And made me in these Christian days a happy English child." 

But if there is any sense in such teaching, foreign children have just as 
much cause to thank their gods for having made them as they are. It 
would necessarily be the god's fault, in any case, if his children deserved 
punishment ; and if they do not deserve it, and if there is a God, then 



196 SECULAE THOUGHT. 



his pretended representatives and servants are nothing but a gang of 
rapacious and conscienceless parasites. 

^^^^^^ 

THE EDUCATION The Montreal Presbytery, at its meeting a few 
QUESTION THE weeks ago, passed a resolution calling upon the 

NEMESIS OF Dominion Premier to withdraw the education 

THE CATHOLICS. clauses in the Autonomy Bills. In seconding 
the resolution. Dr. Campbell drew attention to 
the fact that the Catholics to-day are demanding the very thing against 
which they protested at Confederation. They then demanded — and ob- 
tained — complete Provincial control of their own schools. Now they 
demand, against the constitution they then forced on, that the question 
shall be settled by the Dominion Parliament — in their favor, of course — 
and against the wishes and constitutional rights of the new Provinces 
to be created. In this case, the Liberals are just about as honest and 
consistent as the Catholics. Eight years ago the cry of the Liberals was 
for " Provincial rights " on the education question. To-day, in order to 
hold the support of the Catholics, which is necessary to their continu- 
ance in office, they are compelled, at the bidding of the Pope's agent, to 
trample under foot those very rights the championship of which enabled 
them to scramble into power. 

CHEISTIAN ** The Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood 

BROTHEEHOOD. of Man " has been the cant phrase of other men 

than Goldwin Smith. What it actually amounts 
to in practice was well shown at this Montreal Presbytery meeting. To 
aid the work of the church a resolution was passed : 

" That sessions be urged to constantly seek the unchurched, and to 
foster a spirit of Christian friendliness among those who are members of 
the same church." 

At first sight, it might seem that the Presbytery favored the idea of 
the Brotherhood of Man, but that ideal is manifestly far removed from 
their ideas. ** Come into our church and we will be friendly with you, 
in a Christian way ; if not, go to — ! *' is their real sentiment. 

After stating that in the country districts most of the people attend 
church — of course they do ; they have little idea of going anywhere else 
— while it was different in the cities, the report goes on : 

" A discouraging feature was the complaint from many localities that 



I 



SECULAK THOUGHT. 197 

are resorts for summer visitors. One says : * All our people attend 
church, but the 4arge number who come out from the city to reside here 
never enter the church ; they seem to leave their religion behind them, 
and their influence is not good.' " 

That hits the nail on the head. People who do not go to church are 
bad people — " their influence is not good." Not good for the preacher, 
they might say, but do not, because they are not honest enough to speak 
their mind fully. You have only to get a few preachers together to talk 
business, and you soon find that all their talk of *' Christian Brother- 
hood " is only their trade shibboleth. They are " out for the stuff," as 
our political friends say of each other. 

VOTE OF THANKS The fourth recommendation of this very Chris- 
TO GOD FOR tian committee took the shape of a vote of 

'' REVIVALS." thanks to God, or Christ, or the Holy Ghost, we 

don't know which is at the head of the Presby- 
terian Church — we suppose it is not the Devil — for the recent religious 
revivals. It ran in this wise : 

** That this Presbytery expresses its thanks to the Great Head of the 
Church for the indications of a great religious awakening already seen 
to be in progress in so many lands:; that it declares its belief in the need 
of such an awakening in our own church and country ; and that it urges 
sessions and congregations to ti^ait in expectant prayer, that all the church 
may be baptized with the Holy Spirit's power." 

Imagine a vote of thanks to " the Great Head of the Church " — who 
is he ? where does he reside ? who will present the vote ? — for the reli- 
gious lunacy that has been afflicting Wales for some months past under 
Evan Roberts, and for the money-making scheme of Torrey and Alexan- 
der, the anti-infidel howlers in London ! Also, we suppose, for the new 
revival in the propagandism of the Mormon religion, the New Thought 
religion. Spiritualism, Psychism, Mother Eddyism, and the numerous 
other forms of erratic religious and mental excitement that are the first 
visible signs of intellectual awakening resulting from the recent spread 
of knowledge. " A little knowledge is a dangerous thing," said Pope ; 
and we might have expected that the first effect of cheap literature would 
be to place the masses, even more than previously, at the mercy of the 
faker and the fanatic. We can but hope that ere long the schoolmaster 
will find means of doing more effective work than he has yet done. 

It seems to be an essential part of the make-up of the average Chris- 



198 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

tian to profess a belief that a vast amount of good is being done by the 
brain-fuzzling screams of Roberts and similar fanatics, and by the vapid 
commonplaces and stupidly false anti-infidel stories of Torrey. They 
seem to think some good can come from even the ravings and cake-walk 
dancing of the Burning Bush and the preaching of Piggott. In religion, 
nothing seems to be too barefacedly fraudulent and absurd to meet with 
the approval of many sincere and pious Christians, who accord the privi- 
leges and stipend of a bishop to any faker or fanatic who claims to have 
a " message from God." 

WORK FOR Talking to the Home Culture Club of Northamp- 

WEALTHY ton, Mass., the other day, Andrew Carnegie is 

FREETHINKERS. reported as saying : 

" Not under what form he has worshipped 
God, which troubled the early Puritans too much, but how he has served 
man, is to be the test in the days to come ; and Franklin's axiom will 
be accepted : ' The highest form of worship of God is service of man.* 
Men will dwell less upon * heaven our home,' and more upon the duty 
of making home a heaven here on earth." 

It is pleasant to see that Mr. Carnegie, though he takes no active part 
in Freethought propagandism, is not like most of our millionaires, who^ 
though really non-Christians, seem only anxious to keep company with 
bishops and aristocrats. " Birds of a feather flock together," we have 
been told ; and if we want a generic term for the members of the 
ill-omened companionship, we cannot find a more suitable one than 
** parasite.'* 

We may not be able to object strongly to the foundation of libraries 
and colleges and scholarships by wealthy men who object to building 
churches ; but we cannot help thinking that if some of the money that 
during recent years has been sunk in stone and bricks and mortar — the 
good effects of which most probably will not be seen for generations— r 
were spent in attempts to influence the thoughts of our fellow-men of 
the present day, a far more rapid improvement would be noticeable. 

We are not now advocating the spreading abroad of Freethought lite- 
rature or the free delivery of Freethought lectures; but the marked 
features of the intellectual development of the masses in our day — the 
production of an immense amount of nominally " scientific*' or " New 
Thought" literature, and the organization of Eddyism and other cults — 
points unmistakably to the fact that,, in the process of assimilating tha 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 199 

lessons of modern science, the masses are as readily duped by the scien- 
tific faker as they have hitherto been by the religious faker, and need 
the help of reliable guides on the road to true knowledge. 

Science needs popularizing and introducing at first hand and in accu- 
rate and understandable form to the masses. There is hardly a branch 
of science that could not be made interesting and useful to the working 
classes, if the proper men were encouraged to do the work. Thoroughly 
mastered, the principles of science would leave no room for the brain- 
muddling nostrums that are to-day ** holding up" the minds of myriads 
of budding tiiinkers. 

We have no wish to disparage the work of the public library. In its 
way it is doing a grand work. We cannot even join in the hue and cry 
raised against it on the ground of its encouragement of novel-reading. 
The ethical lessons of the present-day novel are at least as beneficial as 
those of the Bible or the sermon. Some may be good, others bad ; who 
shall decide ? And even if the public library tends to cheapen the in- 
tellectual enjoyments and education of the upper classes of society, no 
great harm will be done. To all who take advantage of it there is the 
opening of new worlds of thought, the reflex effects of which upon the 
rest of society cannot fail to be of immense advantage to progress. 

But we are strongly of opinion that a vastly greater effect would be 
produced by more active efforts to enlighten the present generation of 
adults. While preachers and revivalists can stuff immense audiences 
with Bible myths, traditions and romances as veritable history, we may 
be sure that those audiences occupy a very low level of intellectual cul- 
ture. They need enlightenment and a grounding in the principles of 
true science and philosophy ; and there is only one effective way to sup- 
ply their nesd — cheap scientific literature and cheap scientific lectures, 
with ample illustration and painstaking exposition. And until they get 
these, they will be unable to exercise an influence for good over the very 
-defective education of their children. 

A FOOLISH While some Alaskan Americans are said to be 

BOSTON anxious for annexation to Canada because they 

** TAIL-TWISTER." are denied representation in Congress, it seems 
a foolish thing for other Americans to talk about 
forcibly annexing Canada. The Montreal Star says : 

" A Bostonian, who was a guest of the Canadian Club at Hamilton 
the other night, is reported to have politely told his hosts that if the 



200 SECULAK THOUGHT. 

Americans could not get Canada's trade in any other way, they would 
seize Canada at some time when Britain had her hands tied by other 
troubles. If he merely mentioned this as a warning, being opposed to 
such folly himself, he is unnecessarily alarmed. The United States is 
not mad enough to quarrel with her best friend for the sake of any trade 
she could get from a people whose hate would by this very act be per- 
manently aroused. If, however, the Bostonian guest endorsed the threat, 
what he chiefly needs is a short work on gentlemanly behavior. No good 
can come of such talk in any case. It is by stirring patriotic passion 
that the good work of the preachers of good-will between two kindred 
peoples is undone." 

The mildest peace advocate, who is ready to give up everything in 
order to avoid war, would regard resistance to an inroad undertaken for 
merely mercenary considerations as not only justifiable, but even laud- 
able ; but if it could be shown that such views as those of the Boston 
gentleman are common in America, even the most peaceably inclined 
men would inevitably feel distrust in all negotiations with diplomats of 
the United States. The ethics of such sentiments are those of pirates 
and highwaymen. Nothing can so undermine confidence in the pacific 
intentions of our neighbors as such views, and we hope we shall seldom 
have a repetition of them. 

A BKILLUNT Dr. Campbell, of the First Presbyterian Church, 

BKITISH COLUM- Victoria, B.C., is a genius. What he does not 
BIA PKEACHEE. know about Babylon, Daniel, and Nebuchadnez- 

zar cannot amount to much, for he evidently 
knows much more than is recorded in Holy Writ, and much of that is 
fishy enough. He recently entertained his congregation with an imagi- 
native sketch of the wonderful history of Daniel, whom he described, of 
course, as vastly superior to the legislators of his own province : 

** He was the king's honored servant in the palace, but he did not dis- 
own his father and mother, and his poor relatives, as so many contemp- 
tuously do when they rise to positions of honor and distinction. He did 
not change his church or his religion to get a social position, as some 
jelly-fish Christians in this city have done. Some in Victoria have given 
up their religion altogether ; but notwithstanding their loud profession 
they never had much religion to give up. Daniel faithfully rendered to 
Nebuchadnezzar what was due to him, but he would rather lose his life 
than render to him what was due to God. He knew what was right and 
did it, and left the consequences with God, and thus had a conscience 
void of offence." 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 201 

To Dr. Campbell the Romance of Daniel is as true a chronicle of real 
events as, say, Macaulay's History of England, and he has no hdfeitation 
in filling up whatever little items the sacred historian has omitted : 

" Daniel was faithful, honest, and capable, and rose to the highest 
position in the kingdom, being, like Joseph in Egypt, second to the king 
himself. He was the Prime Minister of the hundred provinces of the 
kingdom of Babylon, yet his bitterest enemies could not find a blot in 
his character nor a flaw in his administration. He was a statesman of 
the highest mark, a statesman who did not make honesty a matter of 
policy but a matter of principle. Some might say that had there been 
railway charters granted, and a Land and Works Department in his 
Government, and a John Oliver, the member for Delta, in the Opposi- 
tion, we might have had a different account of Daniel and his adminis- 
tration than we have. But Daniel was not a politician, but a statesman, 
who stood on the highest summit of mountains of national legislation, 
and could see the effect of what was then transpiring in law-making on 
generations far in the future. . . He had all the details of his government 
at his finger ends, which nothing could accomplish but hard work, for 
all great statesmen are hard workers. . . His subordinates were kept well 
in hand. Daniel read diligently instructive literature. He had neither 
time nor inclination to spend his Sabbaths reading sensational novels, 
but spent them as God intended they should be observed, not in fishing 
and shooting, golf playing and general merrymaking and pleasure seek- 
ing, but in refreshhig the body, improving the mind, and worshipping 
Jehovah." 

All of which shows what a lively imagination Dr, Campbell possesses, 
€ind what the Christian world lost when God failed to employ him to 
write the " sacred history." He exhibits his innocence in imagining 
that a great Government of a hundred provinces, with big palaces, thoii- 
sands of soldiers, temples with an army of priests, and so on, could be 
carried on without machinery corresponding to that of our own day, 
even if " a John Oliver' member for Delta," would have found opposition 
a rather neck-risking business. But Daniel " had all the details of his 
government at his finger ends," which seems to prove that there was a 
great deal of governmental macliinery to be attended to after all ; and 
that Daniel was better posted than are our Government officials, who, 
when questioned about the details of their departments, generally have 
to make inquiries. Yes, Daniel must have been a wonderful man ; Dr. 
Campbell says so. And then he let loose his spirit of Christian humility 
against a member of the Legislature in this fashion : 

*' Daniel encouraged the prophets of Israel in their noble work of 
teaching Divine truths. How different was he from the hon. member for 



202 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



Nanaimo, who poses as a legislator in the Parliament of British Colum- 
bia. Alas ! for his self-conceit and ignorance which he exposed when he 
declared that he had no use for ministers of the gospel, nor for the Sab- 
bath day as God enjoined man to observe it. The same gentleman would 
look on Daniel as an old fogey — behind the times, a back number. No 
man is more guilty of a sin against the genius of the institutions of this 
Christian country than the man who assailed God's holy Sabbath — 
except the man who kept his seat on the floor of the Legislature and 
allowed it to pass unchallenged. Have the representatives of the people 
of this Christian country the courage of their convictions? I answer 
with the interrogation mark (?)." 

There is no question that orthodox Christianity has a pretty strong 
hold upon the people of Victoria, which is an intensely English city, 
with many old-country peculiarities, but Dr. Campbell's vicious attack 
upon Mr. Hawthornthwaite, the member for Nanaimo, would seem to 
show that the spirit of freedom is manifesting itself, and there are not 
wanting other signs in the same direction. 

BRITISH COLUM- From an article in the Victoria (B.C.) Daily 
BIA PREACHERS Times of April 3, we learn that on the preceding 
BARRED FROM day a deputation from the Ministerial Associa- 

SCHOOL BOARDS. tion interviewed some members of the Executive 
Council, demanding the repeal of the law under 
which clergymen are ineligible for election on School Boards. The At- 
torney-General pointed out that the clergy were privileged by exemption 
from taxation ; but the latter protested their desire to pay taxes like all 
other citizens 1 The officials admitted that the claim of the deputation 
was sound in principle, but it was a question of expediency. To comply 
with it might lead to the ruin of the non-sectarian character of their 
school system. The exclusion of the clergy was perfectly constitutional. 

The deputation said no other Province in Canada had a similar law, 
and they only desired to abolish the law on principle as an unjust discri- 
mination, not that they desired to take part in administering educational 
affairs ; which may be taken with a grain of salt. 

The Government officials made no promise one way or the other, and 
we sincerely hope they will not allow themselves to be hoodwinked by 
the gentlemen of the cloth. What seems clear is, that if these latter were 
willing and desirous of paying their fair share of taxation like honest 
citizens, their way to do so is open, and until they do so, they cannot 
expect reasonable men to take their other protests at their face value^ 



i 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 208 



Spontaneoue (Beneratlon^ 

:o: 

BY GEORGE ALLEN WHITE. 

:o: 

" Nature is seen to do all things spontaneously of herself, without the 
meddling of the gods." - Lucretius. 

" Matter is not that mere empty capacity which philosophers have pictured 
her to be, but the universal mother who brings forth all things as the fruit of 
her own womb." — Bruno. 

" Compound it how she will, star, sand, fire, water, tree, man, it is all one 
stuff, and betrays the same properties. . . . 

" Plants are the young of the world, vessels of health and vigor ; but they 
grope ever upward toward consciousness ; the trees are imperfect men, and 
seem to bemoan their imprisonment, rooted in the ground. The animal is the 
novice and probationer of a more advanced order." — Emersqn. 



One frequently meets with the statements that not an iota of proof can be found 
for the doctrine of spontaneous generation, that it has not the stamp of approval 
from so much as a single accredited scientist of the present time, and that hence 
creation is the only hypothesis by which man's existence is explainable. 

PROOF vs. WEIGHT OF EVIDENCE. 

Now, in the first place, we muat remember that none of the conclusions 
reached by the civilized world are susceptible of absolute proof. The weight of 
evidence is really all that can be arrogated by even the most overwhelmingly 
likely propositions, such as that London is the largest city in the world. The 
rationale of different things varies from that of extreme probability, through 
sublimated gradations, until the other pole, of extreme improbability, is reached- 
That the first is commonly called ** knowledge," while the latter goes under some 
such name as " myth," or " humbug," does not change the realities from being a 
mere question of relativity. And thus it is that in viewing the theory of spon- 
taneous generation one must look, not for that impossibility termed absolute 
proof, but only to see whether the weight of evidence points rather to this 
immanent spontaneity of matter or to a superimposition of life by a god or gods. 

It will be well to note here the extraordinary readiness of Christian people to 
accept the foolish and miraculous fundamentals of religion ; a readiness no less 
significant than is that wherewith tliey scorn the plainest of facts deduced by 
modern science. Of little value is the opinion of him who, although firmly con- 
vinced that thousands of years ago in an ignorant age Moses turned an umbrella 
into a snake and Jonah swallowed a whale — all because an emasculated collation 
of anonymous papyri say so — goes out of his way to vituperate the reasonable 
deductions made by the calm, unprejudiced science of this twentieth century. 
Pious men will not believe in a rational theory like spontaneous generation. But 
in 1893 a Frenchman, Leo Taxil, declared that a girl called Diana Vangtre had 
held communication with the devil and had foretold the birth of Antichrist's 



I 



204 SECULAE THOUGHT. 



mother. Throughout France and Italy this witless tale was believed by zealous 
laymen, and a Catholic organ of the latter country was especially insistent re- 
garding its credibility. Taxil admitted the fraud in a confession made at Paris 
a number of years afterwards. 

SPONTANEOUS GENERATION. 

The meaning of the word Spontaneous is " acting of itself," without extraneous 
interference. In other words, as applicable to the problem of life-generation, it 
signifies that, through forces abiding within the natural universe, the evolution of 
organic forms began at some period out of the so-called inorganic. This, as a 
matter of fact, is the position of all scientists whose pronouncements are of 
weight. Call it what you want to. Spontaneous generation under any other 
name is just as much a fact. Names and glosses do not count for much. 

The advanced science of to-day holds that the stupendous power of transmu- 
tation known as evolution, working through native universal yeast, has gradually 
brought into being this globe of ours out of primeval fire-mists. It holds, too, 
that the consciousness with which the earth's surface swarms has been elicited in 
response to organic. differentiations persisting throughout vast epochs of a Time 
that leads uninterruptedly back to lumps of protoplasm. From fire-mist to world, 
from protoplasm to man, an all-comprehending evolution from the simple to the 
compound is witnessed. Nothing else is needed. 

But science refuses to stop with this. Although no cumulative evidences of 
spontaneous generation have as yet been vouchsafed as they have in other once- 
disputed fields of scientific research, nevertheless inference, analogy and reason i 
have compelled the assumption that living matter evolved out of the inorganic 
under conditions of temperature, humidity, chemical activity, and electrical 
vibration that do not now naturally obtain. Science affirms that the universe is 
eternal, and could never have been created by a god or other power ; and from 
this postulate it follows that creation could not rationally be expected to super- 
vene, on any one of the worlds revolving in space, for the purpose of connecting 
the mighty inorganic evolution with the substquently lesser but mysterious 
organic evolution. And if the two evolutions themselves are self-operating, ^ys 
science, and if the first is self-caused, it is worse than idle to imagine the necessity 
of a deity to explain the silent, microscopic, unknown junction of them. In the 
eye of scientific men the old idea of dead matter has given way to the conception 
that every atom in the spatial infinity is not only vibrant, but possessed of the 
potentialities of life and consciousness. 

Prof. A. E. Dolbear asserts that "the most thoughtful and best-informed 
naturalists accept the theory without hesitation that matter is alive, the only 
difference we see in things being one of degree." 

In short, the universe is regarded as a majestic Unity, working, seething, 
evolving and devolving by virtue of its own inerrant laws. 



1 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 205 

OBJECTIONS CONSIDERED. 

That we have little or no proof of the spontaneous generation of life is not 
more invalidating to this theory than is failure to demonstrate the everlastingness 
of matter and the illimitability of space destructive of these theories. Anything 
else is unthinkable to the educated mind, and consequently it is useless to 
picture things otherwise. 

Nobody knows the circumstances as they exhibited themselves on the earth's 
crust when out of slime emerged the first faint traces of life, and if man cannot 
now produce beings artificially, is it proof that nature did not once do it ' 
spontaneously ? Is it proof that the ichthyosaurus never could have existed to 
show that no power can now or ever again evolve its like ? Is it proof that life 
could under no circumstances niultiply in a closed, germ-laden cistern, because 
if it be kept air-tight for a whole year the conditions will then fail to give us any 
movement? As planetary life thrives during the regnance of the sun, and will 
perish before all the bleakness and the baldness of arctic conditions when that 
sun fades away, is it not the part of reason to believe that in a peculiar juxta- 
position of things perhaps incapable of duplication or approximation in our day, 
this same old sun married in auld lang syne the evolutionary forces of adolescent 
earth and said with imperious command, " Let there be life " ? 

The religionist thinks that he can picture to himself no origin for life but 
through creation. For thousands of years the savage doubtless could not 
divine how fire might be produced except through the immediate fervent heat of 
the sun ; but finally the simple device of two sticks or a flint did away at once 
with all the supposed impossibility of human control. Thus it has been with all 
discoveries. They appear chimerical until men with brains bring them to pass, 
whereupon the carpers turn their attention alsewhere. Formerly it was thought 
by the church that language had been communicated to mankind from the 
clouds, and it seemed to her fully as difificult to think that speech could have 
evolved " out of nothing " as it does in these times to view with equanimity the 
notion of the natural evolution of life. Once, a special creation was considered 
necessary for each variety of anitpal, and the evolution of species from common 
homogeneous stock was the subject of churchly derision. " Where is the 
missing link ? " demanded pious obscurantists in recently bygone decades ; but 
this pressing question, asked with such triumphant gusto for God's glory, has 
almost entirely disappeared in the face of discoveries lately made in Madagascar 
and elsewhere. The evolutionary hypothesis, which according to Gladstone gave 
God '* leave to withdraw " from the universe, was acrimoniously scouted years 
ago because no nebulae in formative process had up to then been caught by the 
telescope ; but since the subsequent discoveries this objection too has vanished. 

Considering these and other germane facts, shall we not hesitate long before 
objurgating spontaneous generation just because we do not apprehend precisely 
the method in which it acted, or because the scientists have not yet succeeded in 
manufacturing a man for us in the chemical crucible ? 

{To be continued.) 



206 SECULAE THOUGHT. 



fIDab flDurt)ocft'6 Hnimal Storice. 



■:o: 



THE DOG. 
Since when we have been dogs, history sayeth not. It is supposed that 
before the system of Vicarious Atonement was invented, we were politi- 
cians of the genus homo, for was it not a common saying among the 
ancients, " The more I know of some men, the better I like dogs " ? 

We have therefore probably had a human origin, but the Survival of 
the Fittest has caused us to develope our present physical features ; evo- 
lution having so much changed us that, while on the one hand we possess 
tails, we have lost the faculty called expediency. 

We are the friend of man, and stay with one of the genus wherever 
possible. We are supposed to be owned by some one of these people, 
and to have no rights. This is a mistake. We have the right to life, 
liberty, and the pursuit of other dogs, without the signing of any 
Declaration of Independence or the capturing of a king to make him 
sign a Charter. As a proof that we are a free people, be it known that 
we pay no taxes, rent, or succession duties, nor was any self-respecting 
canine ever known to be afraid of a bailiff. 

When we live with a family who work ten hours a day, we have at 
times a difficulty in making life such a round of pleasure as we would 
wish. Sometimes we take up with a person who can get other people to 
work for him without any return being made. This person is called a 
Gentleman, and he keeps us in what are called " kennels," about fifty 
of us in a batch. We are employed in fox-hunting. In olden days, the 
fox, being an unmannered beast, ran through the crops of the farmers, 
which spoiled the sport when a vulgar farmer was rude enough to object 
to the horses and us following through the corn. Sometimes the fox did 
not behave like a gentleman, and ran over rough ground, where fat old 
bald-headed fools and ladies who had danced all night the day previous 
— the dear reader will understand that I am an Irish dog — did not care 
to follow. 

In Canada, where we and our masters are equally well bred, the old 
order of things has passed away. They now do fox-hunting without a 
fox. A man goes ahead with a bag of anise seed, which he drags over 
the ground, and, avoiding anything higher than a four-rail fence or wider 
than a common drain, and mostly through open gates, leads the pack an 
easy chase. The function that follows the hunt is said to be " very 
charming," and the mounts and dresses are all in the society columns 
next day. 

We, as a body, are held in great respect by ladies who have not been 
cursed with families. They form themselves into societies, whose busi- 
ness it is to see that all dogs, irrespective of breed or creed, shall have 
iron water troughs put on the street for their use. There is seldom any 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 207 

water in the troughs, but that does not matter, as the principle of the 
rights of dogs is asserted, which is the main thing. 

But about our own immediate family. I was born so young that I 
don't remember it, but on the authority of the best of mothers I am an 
Irish setter, as she was brought up and trained to be set on some Irish 
pigs when they came to explore our master's potato patch. My father 
was half bull, but the other half was just dog, so that there is a bar 
sinister on our escutcheon ; but that will be rectified, as our master is 
getting out a new pedigree for us, mother and me, against the dog 
show. 

My master is a vegetarian, and believes in the Hague Peace Confer- 
ence, and advocates a general disarmament of the powers. An impudent 
fellow got talking to him the other day, and said there were times when 
war was necessary. Master asked him to name an occasion. The fellow 
hesitated, and then said that the war against Russia by Japan was a case 
in point. Master said : 

" Perhaps you can tell me who started the war? " 

" [t was the Russians." 

" No, it wasn't." 

** Oh, of course, the Japs fired the first shot ; I knew you would say 
they started it." 

" No, I wouldn't, for they did not. It was the army contractors and 
the plutocrats that set it on foot, and th^y belong to both nations." 

** What d'ye mean by ' plutocrat ' ? " 

*' My good man, if you don't know, a plutocrat is one that takes with- 
out giving a just return — a monopolist, a commercial robber." 

*' You would take the long end of the stick in a bargain." 

** I never took advantage in a trade in my life." 

" Of course not ; if you were selling me a horse, you would tell me 
about a spavin that I missed." 

** Do you insinuate that I'd cheat ? " 

" I don't insinuate ; I say that you would do as other people do— make 
the best of the other fellow if you could." 

" Oh, I can't talk to an ass like you." 

*' I don't mind being an ass, but I'd hate to be a mule. However, I 
know how it is with you peace fellows. Any fellow that's white-livered 
takes to peace talk, and tries to swindle the public with the idea that he's 
a good man because he's no good. I bet you'd run from a rabbit." 

'* No, nor from a damned dog like you." 

"Eh?" 

** You would, would you ? " 

*' Gome on, then ! " 

Teh ! tch ! * * They were at it hard.- Master stepped on my foot, 
and to get even I got the other fellow by the calf. When the mix-up 
was over, the cops took master away, and he was held to appear before 
the Beak when his own was presentable, charged with breaking the 



208 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

other fellow's jaw. He got a fine and a lecture on advocating peace so 
strenuously. 

We, as a tribe, live a pure and moral life. We do not steal, forge, or 
bear false witness, but we are in danger of having a code of laws passed 
by humans which would render us all criminals, subject to the wrath to 
come, and in need of a savior to save us from his own wrath. I heard 
it all explained in Sunday-school, where I went with the grocer's boy 
who had been nice to me. I lay under one of the seats while the super- 
intendent, Mr. Smoothly, explained about sin coming by transgression 
of the law, so if there had been no law there would have been no sin. 
He is an awful good man, the grocer says, and is his best customer. 
When he got through the lesson, he told the children to remember that 
beautiful hymn beginning — 

" Let dogs delight to bark and bite. 

" But, children, you should never let 
Your angry passions rise ; 
Your little hands were never made 
To tear each other's eyes." 

And he never does it himself. When old Isaacs, that worked in his fac- 
tory, made a speech one night saying that any man who\vould lend his 
name as a director to a company so as to get the public to come in with 
their money, and would take paid-up stock for the use of his name, was 
a thief and a robber, the foreman called Isaacs aside and told him that 
the work could be done better by younger men, and he wouldn't be 
wanted next week. Isaacs went to Mr. Smoothly about it. Mr. Smoothly 
was very sorry, but as he was only president of the company that ran 
the factory, he knew nothing of the details, and could not interfere with 
the foreman. If he heard of anything that would suit Isaacs, he would 
make a note of it. Some of the boys told Isaacs that he was a '' dam 
fool " to make that speech, for Mr. Smoothly was a director of the Hot 
Air Limited, and got in on the ground floor. They say Smoothly made 
a clean two hundred thousand out of being a director, but as there is no 
law against that sort of thing, Mr. Smoothly is blameless. 

I think it would be nice to be a director of a company and be able to 
look with pity on and pray for those who will never own a share, but I 
fear we dogs can't attain to that until we become Christians. 



Mr. O'Byrne, the author of "Nyssia," is the author of several works, 
some of which are fiction, others poetry, all being stamped indelibly with 
the marks of genius, culture, philosophy, and wide scholarship, a deep 
poetical vein running through them all. Mr. O'Byrne is not an Irish- 
man, as his name would seem to indicate, but a Cornishman. He has 
been a liberal contributor to Freethought journals, and two of his works. 
have appeared in Seculab Thought. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 



209 



Cbrietianit^ an^ Slavcrij. 



BY B. 



:o: 

F. UNDERWOOD. 

— :o: 



Ihristianity sanctions and it has perpetuated human slavery. Behef in the 

ispiration and divine authority of the Bible has made appeals to the teaching 
)f this book respecting slavery most effective and powerful. The laws which it 
declared Moses gave to the Jews as he was commanded by the Lord, autho- 
rized them to buy and sell men and women : " And ye shall take them as an 
Inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession ; they 

lall be your bondmen for ever " (Lev. 26 : 44-46). 

If a Hebrew, even while he was a servant, married and had children, and did 
lot wi^h to leave them at the end of his six years' servitude, " then his master 
Ihall bring him unto the judges, and he shall also bring him unto the door, or 
Into the door-post ; and his master shall bore his ears through with an awl ; and 
le shall serve him for ever " (Ex. 21:5, 6). 

The spirit of the Hebrew law may be inferred from the following : " If a man 
imite his servant or his maid with a rod, and he die under his hand, he shall 

irely be punished. Notwithstanding, if he continues a day or two, he shall not 
)e punished, for he is his money" (Ex. 21 : 20, 21). 
While the passages in the Old Testament recognizing the legality and right- 

ilness of slavery are numerous, there is nothing in the New Testament that 
abolishes it, and not a word in condemnation of it. Jesus, so far as reported, 
lever hinted disapproval of it. He directed those who believed to sell all their 
iroperty and follow him ; he did not say to them, " Free your slaves." He used 

je phrase, " Love thy neighbor as thyself," but so had Moses taught. The 

jaxim was regarded as consistent with slavery by the writers of the Pentateuch, 
md there is nothing to show that Jesus gave to it an interpretation which included 
lisapproval of slavery. Jesus denounced many evils, but not a word against 
llavery can be found among his reported utterances. When Jesus lived and 

lught, and during the apostolic period, there were in Rome sixty millions of 
luman beings held as slaves, over whom the masters had the power of life and 
leath. In every province of the Empire were the victims of this system of 
lelty and wrong, with the lashing of whip and clanking of chains. Now, while 
fesus denounced many of the evils of his day, it is not on record that he ever 

lid, " Man has no right to hold property in man," or spoke in praise of human 

reedom. 
Paul, who said that he had not shunned to declare " all the counsel of God," 

lade no protest against this gigantic evil. On the contrary, he said that if a 

lan was " called " to be a servant — that is, was born in slavery — he should abide 
the calling, although if made free he should accept the emancipation (i Cor. 



^10 SECULAR THOUGHT, 



7 : 20-22). He sent the slave Onesimus hack to his master, from whom he had 
run away, with a letter asking kind treatment for the returning fugitive, but con- 
taining no intimation that slavery was wrong. He wrote at other times : 

" Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy 
of all honor " (i Tim, 6 : i). 

" Exhort servants to be obedient unto their masters " (Titus 2 : 9). 

" Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, 
with fear and trembling " (Eph. 6 : 5). 

Peter took the same view of the subject : 

" Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear ; not only to the good and 
gentle, but also to the froward " (i Pet. 2 : 18). 

The word translated " servant " means slave or bond-man. So say all Hel- 
lenic scholars. 

Is it strange that Professor Moses Stuart, of Andover Theological Seminary, 
wrote to President Fisk, of Middletown Theological Seminary, that " slavery 
may exist without violating the Christian faith of the Church," and that President 
Fisk replied : *' This doctrine will stand, because it is a Bible doctrine " ? 

Is it strange that the Society for the Advancement of Christianity in South 
Carolina published, for gratuitous distribution, tracts containing passages like 
this : " No man or set of men in our day, unless they can produce a new revela- 
tion from heaven, are entitled to pronounce slavery wrong Slavery as it 

exists at the present day is agreeable to the order of Divine' Providence "? 

Is it strange that, when Clarkson's Bill for the abolition of slavery was before 
Parliament, Lord Thurlow referred to it as " contrary to the word of God " ? 

Is it strange that the Christian king, Charles V., and a Christian friar, estab- 
lished the slave trade between the Old World and the New ? or that, when 
•infidel F-rance had emancipated the blacks of San Domingo— a fact to which 
Wilberforce called attention in the House of Commons— the Christian king and 
the Christian House of Lords of England stubbornly opposed every proposition 
for abolition ; or that in Scotland, in the 17th century, white men, coal workers 
and salt workers, were slaves? They "went to those who succeeded to the 
works, and they could be sold, bartered, or pawned " (J. M. Robertson, " Per- 
version of Scotland," p. 197). Mr. Robertson says there is '* no trace that the 
Protestant clergy of Scotland ever raised a voice against the slavery which grew 
up before their ey^s. And it was not until 1799, after republican and irreligious 
France had set the example, that it was legally abolished." (I give the last quo- 
tation as made by Mr. Bradlaugh in an article in the Nofth American Review.) 

Is it strange that the Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions sent to 
Africa as Christian Missionaries men who were owners of slaves ? 

Is it strange that Christian clergymen in all the Southern States owned, 
bought, and sold their fellow-men ? 



me 

i 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 211 

Is it strange that the Rev. Dr. Furnham said : '* The right of holding slaves 
is clearly established in the Holy Scriptures, both by precept and example," and 
that the advertisement announcing the sale of his effects after his death specifies 
the chattels thus : " A library of miscellaneous character, chiefly theological ; 
twenty-seven negroes, some of them very prime ; two mules, one horse, and an 
old wagon " ? 

Is it strange that slave-holders encouraged religious revivals among their 
slaves, for the reason that their religion made them more submissive and 
servile? 

Is it strange that even Frederick Douglass should write thus of his master : 

*' I believe him to have been a much worse man after his conversion than 
before. Prior to his conversion he relied upon his own depravity to shield and 
sustain him in his savage barbarity ; but, after his conversion, he found religious 
sanction and support for his slaveholding cruelty. His house was the house of 
prayer. He prayed morning, noon, and night. He very soon distinguished 
himself among his brethren, and was soon made a class-leader and exhorter. 
His activity in revivals was great, and he proved himself an instrument in the 
hands of the Church in converting many souls. His house was the preachers' 
home. They used to take great pleasure in coming there to put up ; for, while 
he starved us, he stuffed them." 

Belief in the divine origin and authority of the Bible made men justify flog- 
ging their slaves. Says Frederick Douglass : 

" I have seen him [his master] tie up a lam5 young woman and whip her with 
a heavy cow-skin on her naked shoulders, causing the warm red blood to drip ; 
and, in justification of the bloody deed, he would quote this passage of Scrip- 
ture : ' He that knoweth his master's will, and doeth it not, shall be beaten with 
many stripes.' Master would keep this lacerated young woman tied up in this 
horrid situation four or five hours at a time. I have known him ro tie her up. 
early in the morning and whip her before breakfast ; leave her, go to his store, 
return at dinner and whip her again, cutting her in the places already made raw 
with his cruel lash." 

Human flesh and blood were sold to satisfy mortgages in favor of theoTogrcal 
schools and churches. Rev. J. Cable, born and educated in a slave State, wrote : 

" The College Church which I attended, and which was attended by all the 
students of Hempden College and Union Theological Seminary, held slaves 
enough to pay their pastor, Mr. Stanton, one thousand dollars a year, of which 
the church m.embers did not pay a cent. The slaves, who had been left to the 
church by some pious mother in Israel, had increased so as to be a large and 

increasing fund Since the Abolitionists have made so much noise about 

the connection of the church with slavery, the Rev. Elisha Balember informed 
me the church had sold this property and put the money in other stock. There 
ere four other churches near the College Church that were in the same situation 
ith this, when I was in that country, that supported the pastor in whole or in 
rt in the same way, viz.," etc. 

He mentioned that the last-named of these churches is the one, ** where Mr. 



:212 SECULAE THOUGHT. 

Turner preached and used to electrify the State by his eloquence." Rev. Mr. 
■Cable, the writer of this letter, went no further than to oppose churches "job- 
bing in slaves." 

The Westminster Review^ in an article on "Centenary Celebrations" of 1788, 
recently pointed out that at that date, " so universal was the practice of slave- 
holding, that even missionary societies possessed slaves ; and as late as 1783, the 
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel deliberately refused to give Christian 
instruction to the slaves on their estate in Barbadoes, on the plea that it might 
encourage them to revolt." 

In 1823, the Royal Gazette (Christian), of Demerara, said : 

" We shall not suffer you to enlighten our slaves, who are by law our property, 
till you can demonstrate that, when they are made religious and knowing, they 
■will continue to be our slaves." (Quoted by Bradlaugh in the North American 
Review^ March, 1889.) 

There was no such hard necessity as this under the slave code of Pagan Rome, 
when, as Mr. Lecky says (" History European Morals," I., p. 323) : 

" The physician who attended the Roman in his sickness, the tutor to whom 
he committed the education of his son, the artists whose works commanded the 
admiration of the city, were usually slaves. Slaves sometimes mixed with their 
masters in the family, ate habitually with them at the same table, and were 
regarded by them with warmest affection.. . . Epictetus passed at once from the 
condition of a slave to the friendship of an emperor." 

Under the slave system in this country, there was no legal marriage. The 
system did not admit of it. Judge Matthews, of Louisiana, in his decision that 
the agreement of a slave to " such a contract or connection as that of marriage 
' cannot produce any civil effect, because slaves are deprived of all civil rights,' " 
stated the civil law; and the Savannah River Association, in 1835, expressed 
the general view that prevailed among Christians who believed in slavery, in 
declaring that involuntary separation among the slaves was " civilly a separation 
by death," and " in the sight of God it would be so viewed," and that to forbid 
second marriages in such cases would be to expose the parties not only to hard- 
ship and strong temptation, " but to Church censure for acting in obedience to 
their masters, who cannot be expected to acquiesce in a regulation at variance 
with justice to the slaves, and to the spirit of that command which regulates 
marriage among Christians." 

The slave trade, the horrors of which cannot be described or imagined, was 
carried on in the full belief that slavery was a God-ordained institution. In the 
reign of Elizabeth, one of the best ships that carried slaves from Sierra Leone 
to San Domingo was named Jesus. Hawkins, to whom the Queen gave this 
ship for the slave trade, captured or purchased from the Portuguese traders 400 
slaves, not without escaping dangers, as he acknowledged, by "the aid of Al- 
mighty God, who never suffers his elect lo perish." Another slave ship, which 



i 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 21^ 

landed 700 sick slaves at Ponta Negra, and was referred to in a Royal Commis- 
sion, was named Jehovah. 

It was belief in slavery as an institution ordained of God and entirely con- 
sistent with Christianity, that made the clergy defend it so zealously when those 
with whom the Bible was not an infallible authority were opposing it. Every 
Christian pulpit and hall in Boston was closed to Garrison, and the only place 
which he could secure in which to hold an anti-slavery meeting was Julian Hall, 
then under control of Abner Kneeland, who was afterwards imprisoned sixty 
days in Leverett Street Jail for blasphemy, and who was editor of the infidel 
Investigator. 

" Advert," wrote Albert Barnes, " for a moment to the efforts made to remove 
slavery from the world, and to the hindrances which exist in all efforts which 
can be made to remove it, in consequence of the relation of the Church to the 
system. .... The language of the ministry and the practice of the church mem- 
bers give such a sanction to the enormous evil as could be derived from no other 
souice, and such as it is useless to convince the world of the evil." 

" The most efficient of all supports," Mr. Barnes declared of this institution, 
" the thing which most directly interferes with all attempts at reformation ; that 
which gives the greatest quietus to the conscience, if it does not furnish the 
most satisfactory argument to the understanding, is the fact that the system is 
countenanced by good men ; that bishops and priests and deacons, that ministers 
and elders, that Sunday-school teachers and exhorters, that pious matrons and 
heiresses are the holders of slaves, and that the ecclesiastical bodies of the land 
address no language of rebuke or entreaty to their consciences." 

It could not be otherwise when slavery had been established in this country 
and sustained by Christians who read their Bibles, and who were familiar with 
the 25th chapter of Leviticus and with the words of Peter and Paul in regard to 
masters and servants, and who found in the teachings of Jesus no words con- 
demning the institution of slavery. Even the amiable Bishop Berkeley was a 
believer in the right to hold slaves, and was himself, while in Rhode Island, a 
slaveholder. 

The strongest opposition the Abolitionists had to encounter in their work of 
agitation and education, was that based upon belief in the inspired and authori- 
tative character of the Bible. The Bible and the names of Biblical scholars 
and famous divines and religious leaders were constantly used against them. 

Alexander Campbell, in 1845, wrote : 

•* There is not one verse in the Bible inhibiting it (slavery), but many regulating 
it. I could as soon become a Socialist, or a Freethinker, or a Skeptic, as say or 
think that it is immoral or un-Christian to hold a bond-servant in any case what- 
ever, or to allow that a Christian can have property in man. I therefore dare 
not, with my Bible in my hand, join in the anti-slavery crusade against the 



21i SECULAR THOUGHT. 



relation of master and slave in all cases whatever, or proscribe from the Lord's 
table a Christian brother because he holds property in man." 

Dr. Moses Stuart, of Andover, one of the greatest scholars and theologians of 
•his day, said : " The precepts of the New Testament respecting the demeanor of 
slaves and their masters beyond all question recognize the existence of slavery." 

'President Shann'on, of Bacon College, Kentucky (Campbellite), said: "Thus 
did Jehovah stereotype his approbation on domestic slavery, by incorporating it 
with the institutions of the Jewish religion, the only religion on earth that has 
the divine sanction." 

Rev. Alexander McCain, of the Protestant Methodist Church, published a 
pamphlet in defence of slavery, which called forth a letter of approbation from 
John C. Cahoun, from which the following is an extract : 

" I have read with pleasure your pamphlet entitled, ' Slavery Defended from 
the Scriptures Against Abolitionists.' You have fully and ably made good that 
title. You have shown beyond all controversy that slavery is sanctioned both 
by the Old and New Testament He who denies it, if not blinded by fanaticism, 
must be a hypocrite." 

{To be concluded.) 



Xlbe Safe St^e. 

:o: 



J AM not what's called religious, and I don't pretend to think 
There is any lake of sulphur v^here the ones that sin '11 sink ; 
There's a whole lot in the Bible that I can't believe is true : 
If a God is up there rulin' and a watchin' what we do — 
Keepin' tab on men in battle, hearin' every bird that sings — 
I've a notion that he's willin' to forgive a lot of things. 

I'm inclined sometimes to rather think that mebby when we die 
That'll end the business for us — that there's no place in the sky 
"Where we'll wake up and be angels and have golden harps to play — 
There may be no grand hereafter, yet, for all we know there may ; 
So I'll not take any chances, and I'll treat my brothers fair : 
I propose to have a ticket if men travel over there. 

If a God is up above us, I believe he's kind at heart ; 

1 don't think he gets his pleasure merely watchin' sinners smart ; 

I believe he wants to help us, every one, the best he can. 

And I don't believe he ever schemed against a mortal man ! 

It may be that I'm mistaken, but I'll take my chance and trust 

That it's good enough religion if you treat your neighbors just. 

Yes, the world is full of doubters, they're increasing every day, 
And the preachers they're a-puttin' lots of old beliefs away ; 
No one knows a thing about it, rich or poor, or great or small, 
But there's one thing you can bet on, if the grave don't end it all : 
These here chaps that get their riches by not treating others fair 
-Will be booked to do some mighty hard regrettin' over there. 

S. E. KiSER. 



SECULAE THOUGHT. 215 

Zbc ®l&, ®lt) Stori? in a IRcvo Settinfl.^ 

:o: 

BY D. S. MACORQUODALE. 

:o: 

The tendency with the mass of the reading public is to rush to the 
newest thing in prose, while seeking the old masters in the poetical line. 
In these days, when not to know something of Shakespeare or to fail to 
recognize a couplet from Burns is considered as indicating a want of 
literary training, it would surprise many Americans to be told that there 
is a poet in America now. 

The romance of Nyssia is adapted from Greek and other history and 
mythology, and, apart from its thrilling romantic and tragic interest, its 
historical references are not without an educative value. 

Nyssia is Queen of Lydia, and so lovely that — but space forbids our 
giving the poet's description, and less than that would do injustice to 
the theme. Candaules, the King, is an uxorious dotard — the last of his 
dynasty. Gyges, a shepherd of Hermus' plain, brought before the king 
on a charge of treason, has fine legs, and the Queen sees in him a veri- 
table Apollo, but — woman-like — keeps her own counsel. 

Gyges has found a magic ring, which carries with its possession " do- 
minion, life, and love." In a speech defending himself and describing 
his finding of the ring, and which proves him to be worthy of a better 
occupation than tending sheep, Gyges gains the king's favor, and lays 
the ring at the feet of the queen. He is taken into the service of the 
king, and ultimately become Captain of the Guard. 

That Gyges is worthy a higher sphere is evidenced in his moral 
reflections : 

" Or, mayhap, 

One who in life had stood between the gods 

And men, averting fury, — though I deem 

Such doctrines barbarous ; for what high god 

Will take the blood of innocence and waive 

Thereby the punishment of guilt ? " 

The poet indicates the efifect of Gyges' speech on the fortunes of all 
mcerned : 

" O golden tongue^ how potent is thine art 
To wreck a kingdom or corrupt a heart I ♦ 

" Lo ! youth and manly grace and eloquence, — 

More seldom found in courts than cots, perchance. — 
Combined in Gyges were a full defence 

Against traducers. Who would dare advance 
His petty charge 'gainst one whose speech and mien 
Won favor with Candaules and his queen ? 

" For so it was that when the monarch sought 
Her comment on the shepherd's artful tale, 

Nysda. An Old World Story. By M. C. O'Byrne, author of " Upon This Rock," 
[Song of the Ages," etc Toronto : C. M. Ellis. In cloth, $i.oo ; in paper, 50c. 



^16 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



He saw with rapture the recital brought 

Unwonted radiance to the cheek so pale. 
Gone was her languor, gone her cold repose, 
And Lydia's lily now was Lydia's rose." 

While we are compelled to admit the poet's versatility and dramatic 
•j)0wer, we think him rather unjust to the woman — and woman : 

*' Fitful alike in love or fear, 
An infant's grief will bring the tear 

Responsive to her eye, — 
The eye that yet will flash with glee 
And light with hell-born joy to see 

The gladiator die. 

*' Give her but cause, — a wish, a whim, 
A robe of fur, a hat to trim, — 

And Pity hides her head ; 
The feathered warbler mourns her mate, 
Alaska's isles are desolate 

Where meek-eyed seals once bred. 

" Facile with pledge of love and truth, 
Crabbed in age and sly in youth, 

Studious of every wile, — 
Trust thou, O man, Iscariot's kiss. 
Tread boldly where the vipers hiss, 

But never trust her smile." 

Yet is he hopeful of woman in the time to be : 

"In modest beauty, pure and meek. 
She yet shall come, the Eve we seek, : 

Who, guileless as the dove, 
Shall walk unstained where lepers tread, 
And pour upon the martyr's head 

The spikenard of her love. 

" Down where the human wastrels glide, 
Broken, along life's dreary tide 

Toward the gulf called Death, 
She waits and works to do God's will, 
Maid, wife, and mother, ready still 

As once in Nazareth. 

" Sdch shall she be when lovfe and truth 
Return and man renews his youth, 
Sinless and undefiled." 

Candaules says, while feeling less king than lover : 

" For this cause, Nyssia, wear the mystic ring : 
As I rule Lydia, rule thou Lydia's king. 

" So may I prosper, Nyssia ! as I keep -*- 

The light of love aglow within my breast 
Till the Dark Angel summon me to sleep . ... 



SECULAE THOUGHT. 217 



In the chill chamber where my fathers rest : 
Where thou too, dear one, lying by my side, 
In death, as now in life, shalt be my bride." 

Gyges has been a favorite among the shepherdesses, of whom one, 
Aryenis, was taken into the Queen's train of attendants as musician, and 
at the command of royalty sings a love-song while thinking fondly of the 
faithless Gyges : . 

" So dream I nightly, love, of thee, 
The while mine arms entwine 
Thy graceful limbs in ecstasy, 
Like tendrils of the vine, 
Like tendrils of the vine. 

" Prolong, sweet star ! thy silvery reign, 
Delay thy steeds, O sun ! 
O tranquil night ! restore again 
The dream that makes us one. 
The dream that makes us one 1 " 

As Gyges grows in favor at Court, the dotard king makes him a confi- 
dant and discusses with him the charms of the queen, finally insisting 
upon Gyges taking his stand behind the curtains of the royal chamber 
to get his opinion of Nyssia's beauty. Gyges resists his master, and 
only yields when threatened with the galleys. The Queen when disrobing 
catches a glimpse of the Peeping Tom, and, partly enamored of the in- 
truder, and partly outraged by the knowledge that Gyges' act was by 
the king's command, resolves on the death of the latter. She sends for 
Gyges, and gives him a dagger and her command to kill the king. The 
poet paints the mad tumult possible in the city as the result of the 
assassination in these strong words : 

" Sleep, Sardis, in thy pride 

And plenitude of might ; 
Sleep ! lest thou see the Furies ride 
Their foam-flecked, champing steeds beside 
The gold-floored stream whose waters glide 

Beneath the tranquil night. 

" Ho ! warder in thy mail ! 

Resume thy martial tread. 
Fear not because thou heard'st the wail. 
Borne lightly on the midnight gale. 
Of spirit voices bidding Hail ! 

To the last Godson dead ! " 

Aryenis, singing maid of the queen and discarded lover of Gyges, tries 
to turn him from his purpose when she sees the dagger : 

" Gyges, in other lands 
Than Lydia there is refuge : who can trace 
Thy footsteps ? Is there one to whom the plain, 
The mountain pass, the caverned rocks, the dells 
Are known as thou hast known them from thy youth I 



^18 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



Come, then, while thou art innocent. Oh, come ! 
Thou shalt not do this awful thing ! My voice 
Shall pierce the night and fright dull sleep away, 
And summon hither all who love our lord. 
Our gracious lord ! Then shall the she- wolf find 
Swift retribution ! " 

Nyssia hears, and calls a eunuch to " Do thy work with expedition ; 
see she makes no sound !" and Aryenis dies by the hands of the queen's 
agents, those 

" Ready ministers, deformed by man, 
Relinquished pity with virility. 
As if to break into the house of life 
Were recompense to one who could not build." 

Scarcely is she dead, when Gyges returns with dripping dagger, the 
House of the Heraclids is ended, and Nyssia cries, "Long live King 
Gyges ! " ^ 

Space forbids our giving anything more than a few short passages to 
further illustrate our author's poetical power and ethical inspiration. 
In his description of Phraortes, the first Captain of the Guard, you can 
hear the clank of steel : 

" With shining brass and corslet of bright steel, 

And towering helm, whose blood-red plume curves out ' 
Like some great charger's mane where squadrons wheel 
And nostrils quiver at the battle shout." 

Here are his closing reflections and a bit of his philosophy : 

" Power and wealth and fame and love, 

These are the pride of life : 
Tell us, O Mind above ! 

Is the premium worth the strife ? 
Hath man no joy beyond the thrill 

Of realized desire. 
When function, sense, and fervid will 

Kindle and feed the fire ? 
P God ! if life hath but this to give, 

Is it, we ask thee, wm-th while to live ? 

" Peace, my soul ! 

And ask no further question, — this is sure : 
The Christ is coming who shall make us wiiole. 

And build the brotherhood that shall endure 
Until, his process ended, man shall cease, 

And Earth be one Necropolis of Peace. 

The last stanza given is not the closing one, but it is the one I would 
have selected as such. The whole poem — some eighty pages — has, I 
think, not a wasted word, and bristles throughout with virility and dra- 
malic force. Not since Shakespeare pourtrayed Lady Macbeth has such 
a dramatic personality come from any writer in the English tongue, and 
Nyssia I deem the stronger character of the two, while Gyges appears 
with Napoleonic force — strong as Candaules is weak. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 219^ 



an HUcv'B IRotca. 



:o: 

THE MAN IN THE PULPIT. 
The editor of the Ladies* Home Journal^ in search for popular subjects, has 
been discussing the question : ** Why do men not go to church ? " The facts 
must have been patent indeed to have attracted the notice of the sapient editor, 
but the Ladies' Home journal is published in Philadelphia, and Philadelphia 
editors are still under the shadow of Benjamin Franklin : the waywardness of 
youth must be atoned for by the respectability of later life. The recognition of 
such a heterodox fact must be atoned for by an orthodox attempt to entice the 
sinners back to the fold. The writer therefore misses the true reason, which is 
that between the best and highest intellectual life of our times and the man in 
the pulpit there is an ever-widening gulf, impassable as that between Lazarus in 
Abraham's bosom and Dives in his Turkish bath. 

The intellect of the man in the pulpit, like that of every other human being, 
is in a protoplasmic condition in youth, but as he progresses in his chosen 
profession it must be moulded, curved, and contorted, to suit creeds and con- 
fessions in whose making he had no part. Here it is narrowed by superstition ; 
there flattened by bigotry or barred by dogma. After years of intellectual labor 
he is unfitted for any other trade, profession or calling. He has bartered his in- 
tellectual heritage for a mess of pottage. He must be orthodox or he must 
starve. The man in the pulpit, trained under modern conditions, must become 
either one of two things : a useless intellectual derelict, with no opinions at all> 
or a more useless intellectual hypocrite, with esoteric opinions for himself and 
exoteric opinions for his congregation. 

I remember seeing a caricature of General Kuropatkin entering on the great 
race for the supremacy of the East, loaded down with splinters of wood and 
rusty nails from the true cross, bones and toe-nails of defunct saints, and truck of 
a similar kind, which had been blessed by the Church ; and opposed to him was 
Marshal Oyama, who had laid aside the oddities of one religion without em- 
bracing the crudities of another. 

The man in the pulpit, handicapped by his Abrahams and Isaacs, his Noahs 
and their Arks, his Balaams and their Asses, his Jonahs and their Whales, his 
Daniels and their Lions, his Virgin Mothers and immaculately conceived Christs, 
cannot expect to be even an " also ran " in the intellectual race. 

This is the reason why men refuse to go to church. It is the symptom of an 
intellectual evolution. It is to the man in the pulpit the " Mene, mene, tekel 
upharsin " on the wall that tells him he has been weighed in the balance and 
found wanting. It strikes the knoll of doom of a type unfitted to survive in a 
more intellectual environment. His biggest hope for the future can only be, in. 



220 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

company with his thumbscreM, his rack and his *' fanes of fruitless prayers," to 
occupy a slightly more respectable position than the python and the pleiosaurus. 



THE REVIVALIST'S HELL. 

A Mr. Newell has been addressing a Toronto audience in the Walmer Road 
Baptist Church, on the subject of " Hell." Mr. Newell comes from Chicago, 
which seems the only reason why he should bring the latest news from the 
regions of nether gloom. Like the rest of us, he shares in the universal ignorance 
of mankind on the subject, and speaks with the scientific precision natural to 
such data. However, he solemnly assured his large audience that it was an 
actual place, though he omitted such trifling details as its terrestrial or universal 
latitude or longitude. Not only had it 

" A local habitation and a name," 
but it had inhabitants. Mr. Newell, of Chicago, was not niggardly in giving it a 
population. The great majority of men, women, and children who have existed 
since the Cave man, and will be brought into being until the last trump, were 
arbitrarily condemned by Mr. Newell to eternal damnation. Only a few carefully 
selected olive plants like Mr. Newell were destined to the ineffable happiness of 
discussing, with a crown for a full dress suit, the superiority of gold to asphalt 
for a street pavement. 

Mr. Newell went still further. He gave some particular^ as to the inhabitants 
of Hell. They were not merely disembodied spirits, but disembodied spirits 
clothed with bodies endowed with sensation, reflection, and nervous systems; 
specially resurrected ; and super-added that they might be tortured to all eternity 
with eternal tooth-ache, eternal face-ache, eternal back-ache, eternal head-ache, 
>and eternal toe-ache, unrelieved by Dr. Williams' Pink Pills, or operations for 
appendicitis, that the Nero of the skies might demonstrate that he was the It of 
the Universe. 

In Mr. Newell's statements there are hiati, and these are even more interesting 
than the details he was kind enough to furnish. For instance, a considerable 
time must elapse between death and reincarnation. Do the souls slumber on in 
a state of coma until it pleases the Almighty Monster to prepare his Eternal 
Torture-Chamber? Now, Mr. Newell might have deigned to enlighten his 
audience as to when, where, and how they were to be ticketed and labelled and 
put away in some odd nook of the Universe for future fun for the Almighty, 
For, unless Mr. Newell tells us, how can we know ? 

If we ultimately analyze any conception of a 'god or gods we find them but 
creations of our own minds, and a careful inspection discloses the lineaments of 
the creator. If this conclusion be correct, and the God of this Spanish-Inquisi- 
<tion-hell be but a replica of Mr, Newell, what a brute must Mr. Newell be ! To 



I 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 221 

the instincts of the next brutal homicide he adds every evil quality which, ir> 
every country, and in every clime, has made every tyrant execrated. 

Mr. Newell points to the alleged death-agonies of Thomas Paine and Sir 
Francis Newport as a proof that what he asserts is correct. Without questioning 
the truth of these statements (and they are undoubtedly grossly untrue), what do 
they prove ? To those of us of riper years, who have stood at the bedside of 
our fellow creatures at the moment of dissolution, when the lamp of life burned 
low, when the senses became dim and the mind dull, did it ever strike us that 
they were hearing whispers from another world ? Rather, did we not feel more 
like throwing the mantle of charity round our friends in the moments of their 
last great weakness? 

Millions besides Thomas Paine and Sir Francis Newport have died who have 
never bared the head nor bowed the knee to other goddess than the Goddess of 
Truth, and have died just as their fellow creatures die. Why does not Mr. 
Newell tell of their death-beds ? 

It seems to me that the man who would attempt to rear the doctrine of Eter- 
nal Torment for the greater portion of the human race on the dying agonies of 
two of his fellow creatures is amenable to the dictates neither of common reason 
nor of common humanity. 

It may, perhaps, be objected that in the foregoing I have treated some of the 
riddles of existence with unbecoming levity. I admit these are grave subjects, 
and should be discussed with reverence. But I am discussing, not so much 
the subjects themselves, as the statements of Mr. Newell, of Chicago. I 
regard him as a parasite and a grafter on popular ignorance, whom it is the duty 
of every honest thinker to kick and hammer into well-merited oblivion. 

I do not believe Mr. Newell seriously believes what he says, or that he realizes 
the horrible nightmare with which he would enshroud the human race. To me, 
he seems a shrewd, unscrupulous speculator in human gullibility. The doctrines 
of a personal devil, and a physical hell have been fading from clerical thought, 
until now they are " seen in outline and no more." The pendulum of time may 
bring the reaction. Mr. Newell thinks the reaction is beginning. There is 
kudos and cash to be got by getting on the crest of the advancing wave. He is 
simply putting up his margin on the pendulum of time as he would in a rise in 
pork or potatoes. Idler. 



:o: 



[Lines written for the funeral progress of Paul Kruger through Cape Town, on the 
way to burial at Pretoria, December i6th, 1904.— The funeral of C. J. Rhodes passed 
through the same streets April 3rd, 1902.] 

Who comes, to sob of slow-breathed guns borne past 
In solemn pageant ? This is he that threw 
Challenge to England. From the veldt he drew 

A strength that bade her sea strength pause, aghast,. 
Before the bastion vast 
And infinite redoubts of the Karoc 



222 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



" Pass, friend ! " who living were so stout a foe, 

Unquelled, unwon, not uncommiserate ! 

The British sentry at Van Riebeck's gate 
-Salutes you, and as once three years ago 
The crowd moves hushed and slow, 

And silence holds the city desolate, 

The long last treck begins. Now something thrills 
Our English hearts, that, unconfessed, and dim, 
Drew Dutch hearts north that April day, with him 

Whose grave is hewn in the eternal hills. 
The war of these two wills 
Was as the warring of the Anakim. 

What might have been, had these two been at one .'' 
Or had the wise old peasant, wiser yet. 
Taught strength to mate with freedom and beget 

The true republic, nor, till sands had run. 
Gripped close as Bible and gun 
The keys of power, like some fond amulet ? 

He called to God for storm ; and on his head — 

Alas ! not his alone— the thunders fell. 

But not by his own text, who ill could spell. 
Nor in our shallow scales shall he be weighed, 
Whose dust, lapped round with lead. 

To shrill debates lies inaccessible. 

Bred up to beard the lion, youth and man 

He towered the great chief of a little folk ; 

Till once, the scarred old hunter missed his stroke, 
And by the blue Mediterranean 

Pined for some brakish pan * 

Far south, self-exiled, till the tired heart broke. 

So ends the feud. Death gives for those cold lips 
Our password. Home, then ! by the northward way 
He trod with heroes of the trek, when they 

On seas of desert launched their wagon-ships. 
The dreams new worlds eclipse 
Yet shed a glory through their narrower day. 

"Bear "home your dead ; nor from our wreaths recoil, 
Sad Boers ; like some rough foster-sire shall he 
Be honored by our sons, co-heirs made free 

Of Africa, like yours, by blood and toil. 
And proud that British soil, 

Which bore, received him back in ohsequy. 

The London Spectator, F. Edmund Garrett. 



A certain English clergyman is very outspoken and enthusiastic about his 
work. A great favorite with the Royal Family, a princess upon one occasion 
told him he ought to marry, as a wife would be of more use to him than a 
dozen curates. " But supposing we didn't agree ? " he asked. " Well, you 
don't always agree with your curates, do you ?" ** No ; but then I can always 
send them away," was his triumphant reply. 



SECULAE THOUGHT. 22», 



CORRESPONDENCE 



Editor Secular Thought. 

Sir, — Your honored contemporary, the Catholic Record, of London, Ont., for 
March 4,'o5, in elocuting on the probable Whys and Wherefores bachelors are 
deterred from marriage, among other things says : 

" VV^e should be grateful to anyone who would enable us to see the workings 
of the bachelor's mind." 

So would a good many more of us, especially to be able to view the workings 
of the PRIESTLY bachelor's mind. If science could accomplish this, there would 
be a good many of us who would learn what " chumps '^ we have been, and it 
might also settle the North-west educational question in short order. 

We have often wondered why Jesus and so many of his followers as well as 
the present-day Roman Catholic priests do not marry, as well as why all these 
priestly bachelors persisted and still persist in giving advice and sometimes even 
commands as to the conduct of married people. If the editor of the Catholic 
Record will enlighten us on these subjects, as well as open his columns to us 
bachelors for a year or two, many of us would no doubt cheerfully enlighten him 
about the reasons for our bachelordom. But we must be guaranteed both good 
faith and space, as none of us have any desire to write for his waste-basket. 

Finally, allow me to remind the editor of the Catholic Record that Martin 
Luther, the man who withstood and conquered the pope, emperor and princes as 
well as popular prejudices, was finally himself conquered by Cupid at the age of 
forty-nine. So we bachelors, and for that matter old maids also, are not in such 
a sorrowful plight as the editor of the Catholic Record seems to think. Catholic 
bachelor priests and Protestant married ministers may save their sympathetic 
tears as far as we are concerned, as we are generally capable of taking care of 
ourselves, and under our present economic and social conditions very often 
choose the wisest position in life. "Kicking Mule." 



MISCELLANEOUS 



DANGER IN REVIVALS. 
The London Hospital issues a warning against revivals, saying that *' emotion 
is a force seeking outlet in action, capable of being guided by those who have 
been trained to bring it into subjection, but certain, when suffered to accumulate, 
to overpower persons of feeble will and compel them into courses which sound 
judgment would often be unable to approve." Abandonment to religious 
feeling, it says, is the surrender of the will to the emotions, and the effect is to 
give emotion the predominant place in the organism. — Path Finder, Washing- 
ton, D.C., April I, 1905. 



A story is told of an elderly gentleman who, owing to his deafness, makes some 
funny mistakes. One day he was at a dinner party, and the lady seated beside 
him tried to help him along in conversation. As the fruit was being passed, she 
inquired, *' Do you like bananas ?" " No," replied the old man, with a look of 
mild surprise. " Oh> no ; the old-fashioned nightshirt is good enough for me." 



224 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 



WORK. 

Let me but do my work from day to day 
In field or forest, at the desk or loom, 
In roaring market place or tranquil room ; 
Let me but find it in my heart to say, 
When vagrant wishes beckon me astray, 
" This is my work ; my blessing, not my 

doom. 
Of all who live, I am the only one by 

whom 
This work can best be done in the right 

way." 
Then shall I see it, not too great, nor small, 
To suit my spirit, and to prove my powers: 
Then shall I cheerful greet the laboring 

hours, 
And cheerful turn, when the long shadows 

fall 
At eventide, to play and love and rest. 
Because I know for me my work is best. 
— Henry Van Dijke. 



THE SECRET OF SUCCESS. 

" What is the secret of success ? " 
asked the Sphinx. 

"Push," said the Button. 

"Take pains," said the Window. 

"Never be led," said the PenciL 

"Be up to date," said the Calendar. 

"Always keep cool," said the Ice. 

" Do business on tick," said the 
Clock. 

"Never lose your head," said the 
Barrel. 

" Do a driving business," said the 
Hammer. 

^'Aspire to greater things," said the 
Nutmeg, 

" Make light of everything," said 
-the Fire. 

" Make much of small things," said 
ithe Microscope. 

" Never do anything offhand," said 
the Glove. 

"Spend much time in reflection," 
said the Mirror, 

" Do the work you are suited for," 
said the Flue. 

" Get a good pull with the ring," 
said the Door-bell. 



" Be sharp in all your dealings," 
said the Knife. 

" Find a good thing and stick to it," 
said the Glue. 

"Trust to your stars for success," 
said the Night. 

" Strive to make a good impression," 
said the Seal. — Life. 



THE REAL GOOD. 

" What is the real good ?" 
I asked in musing mood. 
" Order," said the law court ; 
^' Knowledge," said the school ; 
" Truth," said the wise man ; 
" Pleasure," said the fool ; 
" Love," said the maiden ; 
" Beauty," said the page ; 
" Freedom," said the dreamer ; 
" Home," said the sage ; 
" Fame," said the soldier ; 
" Equity," the seer. 
Spake my heart full sadly— 
" The answer is not here." 
Then within my bosom 
Softly this I heard : 
" Each heart holds the secret ; 
Kindness is the word." 

— John Boyle O'Reilly. 



Old Gentleman — I want to get copies 
of your paper for a week back. 

Editor — Hadn't you better try a 
porous plaster ? 



"My love," said the beaver passion- 
ately, " come and live with me in my 
newly-built house in the stream." 

For a moment the beaver maid was 
silent ; then coyly slapping her tail on 
the bank she whispered : 

" Then you do give a dam for me, 
after SiW'—McGill Outlook. 



Some one asked an Englishman if 
he was fond of fish-balls. He replied 
that he really couldn't say ; he never 
had attended one. 



SEC ULAE THOUGHT 

A Fortnightly Journal of Rational Criticism in 
Politics, Science, and Religion. 

J. S. ELLIS, Editor. NEW SERIES. C. n. ELLIS, Bus. Mgr. 

Vol. XXXI. No. 8. TORONTO, APRIL 30, 1905. loc; $2 per ann. 



^be Stu&? of IRature* 

:o: 

Give thyself up with all thy soul to the search afteJ Nature's 
secrets. Let there be no sea, no river, no fountain, the fish 
of which thou dost not know ; and make thyself acquainted 
with all the birds of the air, the trees, the bushes, the fruits 
o( the forest, every sort of grass on the earth, every metal 
hidden in the bowels thereof. . . .Thou shouldst, in faith, read 
the books of the scholars, but, above all, have constant re- 
course to experience. And by patient study get thyself a 
perfect knowledge of that other world which is man. . . .What 
an abyss of knowledge there lieth under my feet ! — Rabelais 
(Gargantua s Letter to Pantagruel), 

EDITORIALS. 

''RACE SUICIDE" The London Tablet, & Catholic organ, remarks 
IN CANADA. that " when the results of the last Canadian 

census were published, some surprise was ex- 
j)ressed at the fact that, in spite of all the immigration from Protestant 
countries, the percentage of Catholics in the Dominion had increased. 
The explanation was not far to seek. The birth-rate is dwindling in the 
Protestant provinces, and is extraordinarily high among the Catholic 
population. In Ontario, for instance, what President Roosevelt recently 
denounced as ' race suicide ' is evidently a constant habit." 

Whatever the real facts may be regarding the causes of the decline in 
the birth-rate among the more prosperous and more intelligent classes 
of society, — and the actual fact seems to be the same, not in Canada 
only, but in the United States and Britain as well as in France, — we 
cannot by any means admit that it is a legitimate ground on which to 
base a charge of ** race suicide." 



226 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



Taking as impartial a view of the matter as is possible to us, rather 
should we be inclined to regard it as a sign of attempted race improve- 
ment and preservation, if we consider it to be the result of conscious 
and deliberate action. In the other event, it is a result of causes that 
demand investigation, but in no sense can it be legitimately described 
as " race suicide." 

It is all very well, too, to talk about the birth-rate being higher among 
Catholics than among Protestants, but, as we showed a short time ago, 
the death-rate among the former is a factor that makes a vast difference 
in the result. The returns from Quebec show that the death-rate among 
Catholicg in some cities is nearly double that among Protestants, and 
that the net gain of the former is by no means equivalent to that indi- 
cated by the birth-rate. 

If all that is directly charged and insinuated as the cause of the ob- 
served facts be true, it is a sign of increased prudence and forethought 
among the more intelligent classes, rather than of reckless misconduct 
w^ith a purely selfish and vicious object, and we regard it, on the w^hole, 
as a hopeful instead of a depressing sign. Time brings its revenges, and 
we cannot believe that the final outcome of our increasing knowledge 
will be disastrous to civilization. 

It is somewhat re-assuring to note the progress of this " decreasing 
birth-rate " scare. Half-a-century ago, it was " infidel France " that 
was staggering humanity with its low birth-rate ; but to-day France is 
behind no other nation in material prosperity and intellectual progress, 
notwithstanding her low birth-rate, her disastrous war, and her long 
struggle against the Catholic Church. Then came the turn of the old 
families in the United States, who were charged with committing race- 
suicide, but who to-day rank high among the plutocrats and rulers of 
the world. Then the British people were charged with the offence, and 
now the Ontario people are attacked. Who makes the charge ? The 
Catholic and the ultra-pious Protestant join their voices in concert to 
denounce the first sign that common-sense views are replacing the old 
theologically-based order to " increase and multiply " — in other words, 
to breed like rabbits, regardless of prudence or decency. 

This controversy and the facts relating to it rather tend to confirm 
our view of the soundness of the philosophy of an old aphorism — that 
if pietists and preachers approved a thing, that thing would be found 
in the long run to be injurious to society ; and whatever they denounced 
would be found to be beneficial. No doubt, large families are advanta- 
geous to the church,, by increasing the fees of the clergy and keeping^ 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 227 



the people poor and humble and dependent upon the charity of the 
church. Charity is a great ecclesiastical institution, and anything that 
is likely to decrease the need for it is pretty sure to meet with priestly 
disfavor. The church knows how to make charity profitable. It robs a 
poor family of $5 for a christening or a funeral, and sometimes returns 
a few cents to keep the family from starving. Yes, a heavy birth-rate is 
good for the church. 

THE DANGERS Some little time ago we referred to the dictum 

OF HASTY uttered by Premier Laurier to a deputation that 

LEGISLATION. waited upon him to advocate the preservation of 

municipal rights against the insidious attacks of 
wealthy companies, aided by corrupt politicians, that " if legislation had 
been obtained creating vested rights in favor of any company, it would 
be almost impossible to upset it." No more dangerous or pernicious 
fallacy could be current than this. 

Even if the Parliament of to-day had the power to pass irrevocable 
laws binding future generations — a proposition manifestly ridiculous and 
unjust, — and even if the legislation thus obtained were passed in an open 
and straightforward fashion — which is, indeed, seldom the case, — a future 
Parliament must necessarily possess the power to review the work of pre- 
ceding legislators, and if this is found defective, to amend or reverse it. 
To act on the opposite principle is to permit ourselves to be governed by 
dead men. 

The Montreal Star calls attention to two bills now before the Quebec 
Legislature which are of the character we have referred to. The bills 
are intended to incorporate two companies to provide places of public 
entertainment in the city of Montreal. The following are some innocent- 
looking clauses from the bill of the " Stadium " Company : 

" 6. The company is hereby authorized : 

** (1) To give entertainments of all kinds with a view to amusement 
and instruction of the mind and recreation for the body, and also musi- 
cal entertainments. 

" (2) To serve the public with refreshments of all kinds and keep the 
establishment of the company open to the public on all the days of the 
year, for the purpose of recreation and instruction, etc. 

" (3) The company may build, etc. 

" (4) The company may establish roof gardens, serve meals and re- 
freshments to the public, give entertainments therein, and keep the same 
open to the public all the days of the year." 



228 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

The Star remarks upon these clauses: 

*' This undoubtedly means Sunday public entertainments, apparently 
of an unlimited character, and it looks as if it mij^ht mean Sunday 
liquor-selling as well. Now, neither of these things should be enacted 
in this way by a side-wind. If we are to have any more Sunday per- 
formances in a roof-garden or elsewhere for public amusement, we should 
discuss the question as a whole, and extend this privilege to every public 
entertainer alike. And we imagine it will be found that public opinion 
in Montreal is strongly against any such step. 

'' As for Sunday liquor-selling, any extension of that unquestioned 
evil will be strongly opposed in all moral reform circles. Catholic as well 
as Protestant ; and these bills certainly ought not to pass without a defi- 
nite clause closing their bars during the same hours that the ordinary 
bars are closed. That the iiaw is now broken does not affect the question. 
We do not want to lend it the authority of any further legalization. The 
extension of personal privileges in this way is a vicious sort of legislation, 
and should never be granted contrary to the trend of the general law." 

According to the principle laid down by Sir Wilfrid Laurier, if the 
Stadium Company should acquire, by means of such surreptitiously ob- 
tained legislation, the vested right to violate the statute law, nothing 
could be done to deprive them of their stolen privileges. In our view, it 
is totally beyond the legitimate power of any Parliament to enact laws 
which its successor cannot amend or reverse. If vested rights are created 
^-practically monopolies — which are unjust and contrary to the public 
welfare, and more especially if they have been created by unfair means, 
they should be abolished, and any question of compensation would be 
illegitimate. We might as well think of compensating burglars or thugs 
for having their businesses stopped by law. The monopolists should 
rather be compelled to disgorge some of their ill-gotten gains. 

Une of these days the preachers will be asking for compensation be- 
cause, owing to the increasing intelligence of the people, their business' 
is declining, and they are compelled to try and earn a living at some" 
honest employment. 

NOT SUNDAY The most important question involved in this 

BUT MONOPOLY Stadium Bill is not that of a free Sunday, but 

LEGISLATION. of creating a monopoly. If we are to have a 

free Sunday, let the question be threshed out on 
that principle; and, as our contemporary suggests, if the Stadium Bill 
passes, then let the same privileges be granted to alJ the other drinking 
places and places of public entertainmeat.. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 229 

As to Sunday drinking, we cannot imagine why drinking on Sunday 
is either better or worse than drinking on Monday. Our own private 
opinion is, that if drinking in public places is permitted on week days, 
there is no reason why it should not be permitted on Sundays — except 
the monopolistic reason given by ecclesiastics : it interferes with the 
preacher's business. 

It seems to us that two principles should be adopted by our legisla- 
tors : (1) that if by chance, or surreptitiously, clauses happen to pass 
in a certain bill contravening the common or statute law, such clauses 
should be considered and treated as non-existent, unless sanctioned and 
confirmed by an explanatory clause ; and (2) that, if it is considered 
advisable to enact the contravening legislation in one case, the same 
principle should be applied to all similar cases. 

Another case in which exceptional legislation was sought occurred in 
the Private Bills Committee of the Ontario Legislature, where a bill was 
applied for by the city of Peterborough, one clause of which gave a re- 
duced assessment to a manufacturing firm for ten years — an arrange- 
ment which had not been sanctioned by a vote of the people, as required 
by law. The clause was very properly stopped. Had it passed, how- 
ever, a rule such as we have suggested would have rendered it nugator3^ 
Still another case occurred in the Railway Committee, where a bill to 
incorporate the Hamilton Terminal Railway was killed owing to the 
exceptional powers which it would have conferred upon its promoters. 
As Dr. Beattie Nesbitt said : *' I'll take that bill and that charter, and 
I'll guarantee to make Hamilton or any other city sit up." As a matter 
of fact, it would have placed the city of Hamilton entirely at the mercy 
of the railway company, just as the Bell Telephone Company has got 
Toronto streets at its mercy according to the Privy Council decision on 
its charter. 

And with men like Premier Laurier to control affairs, once "permit a 
company to obtain such illegal rights or " vested interests," and the rest 
of the community must submit to be robbed and injured. And they 
must continue to do so while they allow their rights to be played with 
by a gang of self-seeking politicians who happen to be thrown into the 
Legislatures by the " machine." 

The fact would seem to be, that the modern mechanical improvements 
^nd scientific developments, with their wonderful productiveness, have 
>pened the door to a new order of parasites, whose operations are not 
confined by any notions of justice or honor, and who are prepared, with 
^he aid of purchased legislators, to take .full advantage of the ignorance 



230 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

and neglect of the people, and turn them to their own advantage. It is 
time that the people began to think. 

BRITAIN LEADING The Peace-at-Any-Price School, of which Mr. W. 
THE NATIONS T. Stead is one of the leading lights, must be 

ON THE ROAD delighted with the peaceful way in which that 

TO HELL ! prophet announces his forecasts. And we find, 

ir our own small way, before he is through with 
you the Peace Advocate generally manages to reach a bellicose state of 
mind before he comes to the end of his argument, and not seldom uses 
language that seems deliberately designed to provoke conflict. 

Mr. Stead was addressing a meeting of Quakers at the Friends' Meet- 
ing House, St. Martin's Lane, London, on April 7, and spoke in a way 
that surely must have disgusted some of his peace-loving audience. He 
said he had been wrangling a day or so previously with Sir Wilfrid Law- 
son, the well-known Prohibitionist, and the latter had cried, " What, are 
you a devil ? " Mr. Stead thus ** improved " his story : 

" I wish we could all ask ourselves whether we are devils or men. I 
sometimes think it would be an improvement if we were honest, square, 
straightforward devils, instead of being a set of canting Christian 
hypocrites." 

At first sight, some readers may think this " smart " nonsense has a 
meaning, but a moment's thought will show it to be simply a mess of 
words without sense. We can accept Mr. Stead's confession that he is 
" a canting Christian hypocrite." No doubt of it ; but if so, he is as 
near to being **a dishonest devil" as anything we know, and needs no 
metamorphosis except in the direction of honesty. He went on : 

" As a nation we have a very good opinion of ourselves. We believe 
ourselves to be the leaders of the world. Yes, we lead in one respect. 
We are leading on the road to hell ! " 

Then Mr. Stead went on to try and infuse some little sense into his 
wild utterances, his argument amounting to this : that while all nations 
were spending more money on armaments than ever they did before, 
Britain was setting the pace towards " hell " by outstripping all others 
in extravagant expenditure on naval and military services. France, 
Germany, and Russia combined had only added £27,000,000 to their 
war budgets during the last ten years, while Britaia liad increaaed hera 
by i^36,000,000 : 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 231 

"We are not only leading hell-wards, but we are drivelling there like 
idiots. At least, France and Germany have for their expenditure, which 
is but half of ours, armies to be numbered by the millions. But how 
many men have we got, ard what kind of an army ? The House of 
Commons spent twenty hours yesterday in trying to find out, and gave 
it up as a hopeless matter. It is softening of the brain that comes from 
a prolonged indulgence in the drinking of political gin, which is jingoism. 
But I don't think there has been any nation in the world that has had 
such a swinging fine inflicted upon it for this political debauch, and there 
are signs that perhaps we may repent and mend our ways." 

Mr. Stead represents a great many peace advocates here as well as in 
Britain. When the other pait}' is in power, the country is indulging in 
" a political debauch." When the nation begins to mend its ways, it 
will put us in power, and a few bj'e-elections in our favor shows that it 
is coming to its senses. 

WHERE IS THE Looking at Mr. Stead's argument for what it is 

"JINGOISM?" logically worth, it will be seen that it has two 

phases : (1) that the British Government is 
spending more money on armaments than the other European Govern- 
ments ; and (2) that its army, notwithstanding its great expenditure, is 
not so large as those of other nations. 

There can be no question that the expenditure of Britain upon her 
armaments, more especially upon her navy, has vastly increased during 
the past decade ; but if it is true that that expenditure has resulted in 

iving her only a fraction of the military resources at the command of 
other European nations, then it is clear that, though she has for some 
reason been compelled to pay more for her services, she has only drained 
her resources in men to a fraction of the extent attained by the other 
nations. 

What seems certain is, that as nations become freer and more intelli- 

ent, the expenditure for all public services must necessarily increase. 
In the European continental armies, the soldiers' pay is far less than it 
is in the British service, and the pay in this last is far exceeded by that 
in the services of Canada and the United States. 

I Whether Britain is getting fair value for the money she is spending, 
lether her services are as efficient as they should be for the work re- 
lired of them, or whether, indeed, they are required at all, may be 
nsidered legitimate subjects of discussion. To confuse the matter 



232 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

The whole question finplly comes down to this — Are the policy and 
war expenditure of Britain more likely to tend to war than those of other 
nations ? 

Comparing the military policies of the various nations, we may ask : 
Is it any more evidence of " jingoism " to spend a large sum of money 
on a small force, than to force millions of hadly-paid men into the ranks 
of the army? Britain keeps a little over a hundred thousand men in 
her standing army at home ; each of the other three Great Powers keeps 
about a million. Which is leading the world on the road to hell ? 

Britain's total war expenditure (i^72,000,000) just about equals that of 
France, the population of the latter country being slightly the smaller ; 
Russia's war expenditure is ^048,000,000, and Germany's £42,000,000. 
As France is admittedly pursuing a peaceful policy, it seems to be a 
trifle inconsistent to attribute a jingo policy to Britain on the ground of 
her military expenditure. 

On the whole, we can only regard Mr. Stead's charges as the blatant 
utterances of a fanatical partisan — one of the disappointed "outs," who 
are trying every scheme known to politicians to become the " ins." 

In the meantime, the bone and sinew of the people, and the produce 
of their hard work, are being recklessly squandered, not only in the Old 
but in the New World. It is not alone in Russia that an unscrupulous 
church is backing up an iron-fisted aristocracy in getting all that can be 
got out of the ignorant masses. The conditions are the same in nearly 
every western nation, and they are bound to continue while the people 
are ignorant, and thus incapable of doing justice either to others or to 
themselves. 

CHRISTIANS The Pittsburg, Pa., Y. M. C. A. directors have 

AFRAID OF decided to exclude actors from membership, on 

THE STAGE. the ground that association with actors would 

not be in "the best interests of the young men." 
The Y. M. C. A. directors are evidently of opinion that actors are wicked 
men, and are content to let them continue in their wickedness without 
making an effort to save them. They clearly think, also, that in a con- 
test between the powers of righteousness, as seen in their youths, and 
the powers of evil, as embodied in the actors, the former would sufifer. 
We don't doubt it. The pulpit could not compete with the stage for a 
moment were it not backed by a powerful and truculent priesthood, who 
have browbeaten a slavish laity into compliance with their wilL 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 233 

The Pittsburg Y. M. C. A. people are both very stupid and egotistical. 
The notorious facts regarding immorality among preachers, Sunday- 
school teachers, and so on, prove that actors and actresses need fear no 
comparison with them on moral grounds, though the Y. M. C. A. people 
seem to think they are the only good people in the world. 

The fact, we think, is that, while there is nothing essentially tending 
to immorality in the profession of actors, and while their prominence in 
the public eye calls attention to their misdeeds, on the whole they are 
just about as moral as the rest of the community. On the other hand, 
the egotistical presumption of the religious people, which causes them 
to regard themselves as the moral exemplars and teachers of the rest of 
the community, tends directly to produce hypocrisy and deception ; and 
the exceptional privileges claimed and accorded to officials of the church 
give full opportunity for the development of these as well as other even 
more undesirable qualities. We imagine that the Y. M. C. A. has far 
more to gain than to lose by admitting actors to membership. Of course, 
if it wishes to maintain the old-style orthodox religion, it should exclude 
not only actors, but schoolmasters, scientists, artists, and every class of 
reformer and progressive. Christianity was sent originally, we are told, 
to babes and sucklings, and perhaps the Y. M. C. A. is wise in trying to 
confine it to that class. 

** SALOON CLUBS " Manifold have been the plans suggested to cure 
AS A CURE FOR drunkenness, and our new Governor-General 
DRUNKENNESS. has excited the members of the ** West-end Gos- 

pel Temperance Society " of Toronto with a new 
one. He embodied it in this suggestion in replying to an address from 
the Methodists : 

'* You will make little headway against this evil until you succeed in 
eliminating the element of personal profit from the liquor traffic. Make 
your saloons clubs." 

The Gospel Temperance people very sensibly say, that if the present 
conditions are retained, with the exception of the retirement of the owner 
of the saloon, the change of its name to " club," and (to eliminate the 
element of profit) the reduction of the price of drinks from five to two 
cents per glass, the results of the new system would be pretty much the 

ime as those of the old. We guess so, too ; only perhaps a little more 
You may call the saloon a ** club," if you like ; but beer at 2 cents 

glass would soon cause it to be christened with a new name. We quite 



234 SECULAE THOUGHT. 



agree with the Gospel Temperance people that, under the club system, 
*' there would be greater attractions to drink and a greater increase in 
drunkenness." 

We have seen no reason for believing that any of the efforts made to 
" purify " the liquor traffic, not even those which have had the object of 
giving it ecclesiastical sanction, have so far had any appreciable effect 
for good. Bishop Potter, of New York, recently opened a church saloon 
with much gush, prayer, and psalm-singing, but a few weeks' trial was 
sufficient to convert it into an ordinary drinking den. 

Our own opinion is, that the evils of drunkenness are largely exagge- 
rated. We do not mean by this that the evils are not great intrinsically, 
but we do not think that they are anything like so extensive throughout 
society as they are often represented to be. Habitual drunkenness, we 
believe, is mostly confined to a small section of society. 

We are very decidedly of opinion that alcohol as a beverage is in the 
main injurious to the human system. As with tobacco, its first effects 
are almost always manifestly injurious and poisonous. Statistics, so far 
as we know, conclusively prove the deleterious results of both tobacco- 
smoking and alcohol-drinking ; and a long course of observation has 
shown us a terrible record of the fatal effects, alike to health, life, mo- 
rality, and personal prosperity and happiness, of the degrading habits. 
But, as in the case of the opium and morphine habits, once acquired, 
the habit seems to be, ineradicable in most cases; and the only chance 
there is of overwhelming it must be by forcibly depriving the victims of 
the means of gratifying their ruling passion. 

Whether this should be done by placing the individuals under re- 
straint, or by placing the whole of society under restraint through a 
prohibitory liquor law, is the question to be settled. As the vast mass 
of the people seem inclined to think moderation not injurious, hut rather 
beneficial, the latter plan seems impracticable. 

The question, then, comes before us, shall we treat the habitual drun- 
kard as a diseased and dangerous person, and take forcible charge of 
him until he appears to have thoroughly recovered from his abnormal 
condition ? We certainly think that drunken criminals should be thus 
dealt with ; but how far we should go in dealing with simple drunkards 
not otherwise law-breakers seems a difficult problem. 

A law making drunkenness a crime would be difficult to enforce, and 
would lead to a vast amount of favoritism and abuse. We are inclined 
to think that, until society is united in a determination to suppress the 
manufacture of alcohol for use as a beverage, any such legishttioa would 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 235 

fail ; when such a time arrives, if it ever does, the law will not be needed. 
Whatever the law may be, the only way in which it can be tested is 
to rigidly enforce it. It is a significant fact that, so great is the public 
prepossession in favor of drinking, that there has been hardly any serious 
attempt hitherto made to enforce any prohibitory law, or even any law 
restricting the traffic. And this seems to point to the fact that the whole 
matter has not yet risen above the preliminary stage of education. 

CHRISTIANITY The recent religious ceremonial in Japan, on the 

IN JAPAN. occasion of enshrining in a temple the names of 

about 40,000 soldiers and sailors who had lost 
their lives in the war up to the date of the battle of Mukden, was con- 
ducted by the Shinto priests with great pomp and ceremony, an enor- 
mous crowd witnessing it. We have seen no mention in the reports of 
the participation of Christian missionaries or preachers, and it is evi- 
dent that Christianity is as negligible a quantity in Japan as Joss worship 
is in Christian lands. 

It is remarkable that just now some of the Christian missionaries in 
China are beginning to see that their greatest danger of failure in that 
great missionary field arises from the influence of the Japanese, who, 
they say, are practically a nation of agnostics, and by their success in 
the war against Russia have acquired vast influence over the Chinese 
people. The practical and common-sense philosophy of the Chinese 
themselves, embodied in Confucianism, and their mental acuteness, have 
much to do with this result, and makes it easy to understand how neces- 
sary it was for the missionaries to begin their work by tooth-drawing 
and doctoring if they were to acquire any influence among them. 

A good item in this line comes to us from Tokio, where the Mikado 
has informed Mr. Griscom, the American Ambassador to Japan, that he 
intends to give 10,000 yen ($5,000) to the Japanese army branch of the 
Y. M. C. A., which at the outbreak of the war opened branches at the 
chief bases of operations in Manchuria, where they dispensed means of 
comfort and recreation to the soldiers. This appears to be the only way 
in which even nominal Christianity has any chance of being propagated 
among civilized peoples. 

Rev. Henry R. Rose, of the Church of the Redeemer, Newark, N.J., is 
a strong advocate of Sunday baseball, which all the other preachers are 
trying to suppress. 



236 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



Cbrietianiti? an& Slaver?^ 



■:o:- 



BY B. F. UNDERWOOD. 

:o: 

II. {Canclnded.) 

Herbert Spencer, referring to the fact that while among the ancient Hebrews 
persons of foreign blood might be bought, and with their children inherited as 
possessions, those of Hebrew blood were subject to a slavery qualified both as to 
length and rigor, because they were of the chosen people, adds that there was no 
recognition of any wiong inflicted by enslaving men, nor of the right of freedom. 
"This lack of sentiments and ideas which, in modern times, have become so 
pronounced," he says, " continued to the time when Christianity arose, and was 
not changed by Christianity, Neither Christ nor his Apostles denounced 
slavery ; and when, in reference to freedom, there was given the advice to * use 
it rather ' than slavery, there was manifestly implied no thought of any inherent 
claim of each individual to unhindered exercise of free motion and locomotion." 
Here are a few advertisements, samples of those that appeared in Southern 
newspapers : 

" Ran Away — A negro woman and two children. A few days before she 
went off, I burnt her with a hot iron on the left side of her face. I tried to 
make the letter M. JVlr. Micajah Ricks, Nash Co, North Carolina." In the 
Raleigh Standard, ]u\y 18, 1838 

" Ran Away — Mary, a black woman ; has a scar on her back and right arm 
near the shoulder, caused by a rifle ball." Mr. Asa B. Metcalf, Kingston, Adams 
Co., Miss. In the Natchez Courier, June 15, 1832. 

" Ran Away — A negro named Henry ; his left eye out, some scars from a 
dirk on and under his left arm, and much scarred with the whip.' Mr. William 
Overstreet, Benton, Yazoo Co., Mi. In the Lexington (Ky.) Observer, July 
22, 1838. 

'• Fifty Dollars Reward — For the negro Jim Blake. Has a piece cut out 
of each ear, and the middle finger of the left hand cut off to the second joint." 
Editor New Orleans Bee, in that paper Aug. 27, 1837. 

" Ran Away — My man Fountain. Has holes in his ears, a scar on the right 
side of his forehead, has been shot in the hind par s of his legs, is marked on 
the back with a whip." Mr. Robert Beasley, Macon, Georgia In the Georgia 
Messenger, July 27, 1837. 

"Twenty Dollars Reward— Ran away from the subscriber, on the 14th 
inst., a negro girl named Molly. She is 16 or 17 years of age, slim made, lately 
branded on the left cheek, thus, R, and a piece taken off her ear on the same 
side. The same letter on the inside of both her legs. Abner Ross, Fairfield 
District, S. C." 

"Notice. — Was committed to the Jail of Jackson County, Mississippi, the 
24th day of September, 1845, the runaway slave, Nancy. She is 23 or 25 years 
old, is in a pregnant condition, severely whip-marked. Said Nancy says she 
belongs to one William Rogers, living near Paulding, Jasper Co., Miss. Had on,, 
when committed, a white frock. A. E. Lewis, Jailor. Oct. 18, 1845." 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 237 

" The und rsigned, having bought the entire pack of Negro Dogs (of the Hays 
& Allen stock), he now proposes to catch runaway Negroes * His charge will be 
Three Dollars per day for hunting, and Fifteen Dollars for catching a runaway. 
He resides 33^ miles north of Livingston, near the lower Jones Bluff Road. 
Nov. 6, 1845." 

" Ran Away — My negro man Richard. A reward of $25 will be paid for his 
apprehension, dead or alive. Satisfactory proof will only be required of his 
[)eing killed. He has with him, in all probability, his wife Eliza, who ran away 
from Col. Thompson, now a resident of Alabama, about the time he commenced 
his journey to that Stale. D. H. Rhodes." Wilmington (N C.) Advertiser of 
July 13. 1838. 

The following extract is taken from an address to the Presbyterians of Ken- 
tucky, by a committee of the Synod of Kentucky, signed by John Brown, Esq , 
chairman, and John C. Young, secretary : 

*' Not only has the slave no right to his w fe and children, he has no right 
even to himself. His very body, his muscles, his bones, his flesh, are all the 
property of another. The movements of his limbs are all regulated by the wiU 
of a master. He may be sold, like a beast of the field. He may be transported 
in chains like a felon." 

Rev. William Meade, Bishop of the Diocese of Virginia, published a book of 
sermons, tracts, and dialogues for masters and slaves. In one of the sermons 
occurs the following : 

^' And pray do not think that I want to deceive you, when I tell you that your 
masters and ii.istresses ar^ God's overseers; and that if you are faulty towards 
them, God will punish you severely for it, in the next world, unless you repent of 
it, and strive to make amends by your faithfulness and diligence for the time to 
come, for God himself hath declared the same." 

Again : 

^' Take care that you do not fret or murmur, grumble or repine at your con- 
dition ; for this will not only make your life uneasy, but will greatly offend 
Almighty God. Consider that it is not yourselves — it is not the people that you 
belong to— it is not the men that have brought you to it, but it is the will of 
God, who hath by his providence made you servants, because, no doubt, he knew 
that condition would be best for you in this world, and help you the better 
■towards heaven, if you would but do your duty in it. Now when correction is 
given you, you either deserve it or you do not deserve it. But whether you 
deserve it or not, it is your duty and Almighty God requires that you bear it 
patiently. . . . Suppose that you do not, or at least you do not deserve so much 
or so severe correction for the fault you have committed, you perhaps have 
escaped a great many more and are at last paid for all. Or su])pose you are 
quite ituKx:ent of what is laid to your charge, and suffer • wrongfully in that 
particular thing, is it not possible you may have done some other bad thing 
which was never discovered, and that .Xlmighty God, who saw you doing it, 
would not let you escape without |iunishment, one time or another? And ought 
you not, in such a case, give glory to him and be thankful that he would rather 
punish you in this life for your wickedness than destroy your souls for it in the 
next life ? " 



I 



238 SECULAK THOUGHT. 



Mr. Frederick Douglass years ago used this strong language : 

" We have men-stealers for ministers, women-whippers for missionaries, and 
cradle plunderers for Church members. The man who wields the blood-clotted 
cow-skin during the week fills the pulpit on Sunday, and claims to be the 
minister of the meek and lowly Jesus. . . . He who is the religious advocate of 
marriage, robs whole millions of its sacred influence, and leaves them to the 
ravages of wholesale pollution. The warm defender of the sacredness of the 
family relation is the same that scattered whole families ; sundering husbinds 
and wives, parents and children, sisters and brothers, — leaving the hut vacant 
and the heart deso'ate. . . . We have men sold to build churches, women sold 
to support the gospel, and babies sold to purchase Bil)les for the poor heathen ! 
all for the glory of God and the good of souls ! The slave auctioneer's bell and 
the church-going bell chime in with each other, and the bitter cries of the heart- 
broken slave are dro^'ned in the religious shouts of his pious master. Revivals 
of religion and revivals of the slave trade go hand in hand together. The slave 
prison and the church stand near each other. The clanking of fetters and the 
rattling of chains in the prison, and the pious psalm and solemn prayer in the 
church may be heard at the same time. The dealer in the bodies and souls of 
men erect their stand in the presence of the pulpit, and they mutually help each 
other. The dealer gives his blood-stained gold to support the pulpit, and the 
pulpit in return covers his infernal business with the garb of Christianity Here 
we have religion and robbery the allies of each other, devils dressed in angels 
robes, and hell presenting the semblance of paradise." 

This dark and terrible picture is a representation of what existed in this 
country within the memory of men who are not yet old. Hundreds of such 
statements might be quoted from the writings of men who re{)re3ented the 
theological scholarship of this country forty years ago. 

Says Martyn, in his biography of Wendell Phillips : 

"At the period now under review [1840 to 1850], with one or two small but 
honorable exceptions, like the Free-will jBaptists and the Free Presbyterians, the 
Churches were all the apologists and often the defenders of man-stealing. Thus 
te Christianity of America was three ^thousand years behind the Judaism of 
Moses, which denounced man-stealing. Individual pulpits and individual church 
members, shining lights in this dreary midnight, were found in all the historic 
denominations refusing to quench their beams. But exceptions do not break — 
they prove the rule. As organized bodies, the Churches admitted slave holders 
to their communion, installed them in their pulpits, and screened their sin with 
palliative resolutions. At the same time they branded the Abolitionists as 
fanatics, meddling with what did not concern them, and anathatemized them as 
Infidels assaulting the administration of Providence. For example, the Rev. 
Wilbur Fisk, the leader of New England Methodism, declared that the general 
rule of Christianity not only permits, but in supposable circumstances enjoins, a 
continuance of the master's authority." 

A New England Methodist Bishop maintained that the right to hold slaves is 
founded on this dictum : " Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that mea 
should do to you„ do ye even so to thera." 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 239 

These resolutions, adopted by the Harmony Presbytery of South Carolina, 
expressed the views of the ecclebiastical organizations of the United States : 

" I. Resolved, That as the Kingdom of our Lord is not of this world, his 
Church, as such, has no right to abolish, alter, or affect any institution or 
ordinance of men, political or civil. 

'* 2. Resolved, That slavery has existed from the days of those good old 
slave-holders and Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (who are now in the 
kingdom of heaven), to the time when the Apostle Paul sent a run-away home 
to his master Philemon, and wrote a Christian and fraternal letter to this slave- 
holder, which we find still sands in the canon of the Scriptures, and that slavery 
has existed ever since the days of the Apostle, and does now exist." 

If Christianity, if belief in the divine authority of the Scriptures did not per- 
petuate slavery in this country, how shall we ex-plain the fact that the most 
learned theologians like Moses Stuart and Alexander Cami)be/1, and the Christian 
clergy generally who read the Bible the most diligently, and the mass of 
Christians of the different denominations were supporters of slavery on theological 
grounds, and that they defended it, or opposed the anti-slavery agitation by 
quotations from Scripture, while the most prominent opponents of slavery were 
men who were Infidels, or whose only idea of Christianity was expressed in the 
Golden Rule ? 

Why were the clergy in such large numbers identifying Christianity and efforts 
to stop the anti-slavery agitation, and uniting together the words " Infidelity and 
Abolitionism," while here and there only a clergyman like Albert Barnes was 
pleading with his irresponsive brother ministers to use their influence in favor of 
the oppressed ? Why, for instance, did Rev. J. C. Powell, of South Carolina, 
exhort the citizens of Orangeburg and vicinity in words like this : ** Do your duty 
as citizens and Christians, and in heaven you will be rewarded and delivered 
from Abolitionism," wnile in the South rewards were being offered for the heads 
of Garrison and Phillips, and in the North they were being denounced and 
treated with mob violence ? If Christianity does not favor slavery, why did the 
clergy of Revolutionary days fail to discover that it was sinful, and why was it 
left for Infidels like Paine to declare that man has no right to property in man, 
and for religious heretics lik^ Franklin and Jefferson to denounce it as a great 
wrong? 

Are those who reject Christianity as a supernatural system and trust to the 
light of Nature, better adapted to discover moral truth, and belter qualified to 
promote it, than those who devote themselves to the study of God's special reve- 
lations to man? 

The facts I have given are undeniable. They are drawn from the Bible, from 
the pages of history, from the writings of theologians, and from James G Birney's 
"The American Church the Bulwark of American Slavery," Stephen S. Foster's 
•* The Brotherhood of Thieves, or a True Picture of the American Church and 



240 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



Clergy," Samuel Brooke's •' Slavery and the Slaveholders' Religion," Parker 
Pillsbury's "The Church as It Is," and other sources ; and the facts have never 
been questioned. 

The condition of the slave under Christianity remained essentially the same 
for two hundred years. Some good laws were made, but others were of a different 
character. For instance, if a slave had improper relations with his mistress, the 
woman was executed and the slave was burnt alive. Under Paganism the woman 
was simply reduced to slavery. Slavery was formally and distinctly recognized 
by Christianity, and it encouraged docility and passive obedience on the part of 
the slave. None of ihe Christian Fathers condemned slavery. This was done 
by the Essenes in the first century. 

Slavery continued under Christianity 800 years from the time of Constantine, 
the first Christian Emperor, and the number subject to it, historians have 
declared, was greater in the Empire under Christianity than under Paganism. 
Shall we be told that the religion under which slavery flourished for nearly a 
thousand years in the Roman Empire, and which finally disappeared then 
through secular causes, and under which slavery flourished in the most civilized 
nations of Christendom until the beginning of the last half of the nineteenth 
century, led to the abolition of slavery ? Says the Christian historian Guizot : 

" It has often been repeated that the abolition of slavery among modern peoples 
is entirely due to Chris ians. That, I think, is saying too much Slavery existed 
for a long period in the heart of Christian society, without its being particularly 
astonished or irritated. A multitude of causes, and a great development in 
other ideas and priiiCiples of civilization, were necessary for the abolition of this 
iniquity." (*' European Civilization," Vol. I., p. 110) 

While not a line can be quoted from the New Testament in condemnation of 
slavery, it was denounced as a great wrong hundreds of years before the Christian 
era, by Pagan moralists. As Sir Alexander Grant says in his " Life of Aristotle : " 

" Certain reformers of the fourth century B.C. had already lifted up their 
voice against the institution of slavery. They had argued that the slave was of 
the same flesh and blood as his master, and might be as good as he ; and that, 
in short, slavery was merely an unjust and oppressive custom, which could and 
should alter." (Chap, vi , p. 107, Alden's Edition.) 

The writers of the New Testament had no conception of man's right to freedom, 
no detestation of slavery. They believed that God had made ali nations of one 
blood, yet in man's fallen condition, slavery, as well as the subordination of 
woman to man, and the submission of nations to despots, was right, and resistance 
thereto was rebellion against God. 



Simplicity and humility, moderation and toleration are some prominent marks 
of intellectual greatness. 
' To an honest man^ the world seems honest ; to a thief, all men are thieves* 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 241 

Spontaneoue (generation, 

:o: 

BY GEORGE ALLEN WHITE. 

:o: 

n. 

THE CHURCH ALWAYS AN OPPONENT OF FACTS. 

The history of the relationship between Christianity and science comprises 
naught of importance save the constant defiance of ecclesiastics, manifested by 
opprobrium and abuse, whenever a new scientific discovery has startled the world ; 
this attitude usually to be succeeded, after a few years of grudging and surly 
acquiescence in the new truth, by the squirming attempt to patch up a concilia- 
tion between it and the dogmas that appeared to be assailed ; and finally by the 
launching of an assault on science from some other vantage-ground. No sooner 
is the church defeated here, than she begins again there, hopping round and 
round in circles and shouting, " You can't ! you can't ! " at the scientist who 
would demonstrate his discovery to be true. The list of scientific truths fought 
by the church, but now universally conceded, is practically interminable. No 
attempt will here be made to recount even the most prominent, as they are too 
well known by people generally. 

"God " has been pushed steadily further and further back in the economy of 
the universe. From occupying, in the wrapt imagination of our distant ancestors, 
a place which accorded to him the immediate credit for absolutely every mani- 
festation of nature's powers, no matter how insignificant, he has been relegated, 
during centuries of progress, remorselessly to the rear, despite the stubborn and 
ilter resistance of his devotees. At the present time, he is merely a "gaseous 
vertebrate," who started things far, far back in the dim past, but who, wreathed 
in senile smiles, has at last become content to let affairs drag along as they will. 
As was just remarked, it has always hitherto been the case that, when dislodged 
from one position, the church has girded her loins, retreated a few paces, and 
come up smiling with a new front. What she will do in the present emergency, 
however, is not clear ; for the persistence with which spontaneous generation is 
assailed indicates — what has long been recognized by the Freethinker — that the 
last citadel of the God Idea is at stake, and that, if surrender is necessitated at 
this point, no opening can be found for deities at any point in the evolutionary 
journey from pristine incoherences down to this very hour. 

Principal Fairburn, of Oxford, says : 

"Our apologetic has been too critical and defensive, and has suffered from the 
want of positive and constructive ideas. It has, on the speculative side, tended 
to make itself the opponent of the scientific interpretation of nature, fearing now 
'he atoms and the architechtonic forces of the physicist, now the epochs of the 
-cologist, and again the biologist's mutation and evolution of species ; and, on 
the historical side, it has been ineffectively suspicious of the criticism which has 



I 



212 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



freely handled now documents, now events, and now men dear to the religious 
imagination." 

Tyndall declares that " these [theologi al] objectors scatter their germs abroad 
and reproduce their kind, ready to i.>lay again the part of their intellectual pro- 
genitors, to show the same virulence, the same ignorance, to achieve for a time 
the same success, and finally to suffer the same inexorable defeat." 

RECENT ACHIEVEMENTS 

It may be, as is still supposed by some, that life cannot be produced artificially 
nor evolved naturally in the stage of world-evolution in which we are now living. 
Yet hope is held out that such a desideratum is possible. Herbert Spencer notes 
a pertinent truth in his *' Principles of Psychology " : 

" The chasm between the inorganic and the organic is being filled up On 
the one hand, some four or five thousand compounds, once regarded as exclu- 
sively organic, have now been produced artificially from inorganic matter ; and 
the chemis s do not doubt their ability to produce the highest form of matter. 
On the other hand, the microscope has traced down organisms to simpler and 
simpler forms, until in \\\e ptoto genes of Professor Huxley there has been reached 
a type distinguishable from a fragment of albumen only by its finely granular 
character." 

In view of ihe marvellous strides made by science during such a mere dot of 
time, comparatively speaking, as the past century ; in view of the fact that at its 
close multitudinous achievements, thought hitherto, from the very incipiency of 
-man's career, to be altogether beyond him, had become prosy realities ; is it safe 
<to set limits to future research ? 

Recently, the world of thought was electrified by the announced discovery by 
Prof. Loeb, of the University of Chicago, that the laboratory production of life 
had been approached by him much more nearly than was ever before known. In 
an interview the Professor is reported as remarking : 

" All I can say is, that for a long time I puzzled over the forces which rule in 
the realm of the animate, and then I came to the conclusion that these forces 
were the same as those which ruled the inanim..te." 

The New York Sun says of these experiments : 

'" He has taken unfertihzed sea-urchin eggs, and he has by means of chemical 
solutions been able to develop these so that they are living organisms, the same 
as though they had been developed in the ordinary manner. With other solu- 
tion^-, salts, and chlorides, and other unfertilized eggs, he has accomplished simi- 
lar results. Other scientists have verified these conclusions by experiments of 
their own ; the result is a matter of scientific hist(vry now, and what is called 
' artificial parthenogenesis ' is a fact no longer to be questioned." 

Whether or not the experiments of men like Prof. Loeb ever reach the full 
^ fruition at which they hint, the theory of spontaneous generation will remain 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 243 



firmly fixed in the scientific mind, and will but gather strength as the decades 
pass. Let the church, in continued fulsome devotion to her repulsive Jehovistic 
Mumbo-Jumbo, put obstacles as of yore in the way of scholars who would dis- 
cover the whole truih and make it known ; — already she is too far in extremis 
to extort more than a pitying smile from her victors. 

NATURAL OR SUrERNAl URAL. 

Only two methods of accounting for the origin of life have ever been broached. 
They are the external and the internal — the supernatural and the natural The 
former brings in the word " god." It maintains that he superimposed life upon 
this planet, and it lets this statement serve as the solution of the problem. The 
latter, or the internal method, means that Nature alone suffices for all her activi- 
ties ; that in her, evolution is puissant from alpha to omega ; that if theories like 
that of the origination of life have not yet been arranged, labelled, and admitted 
to complete fellowship in the pantheon of demonstrated science, it is owing, not 
to theoretic falsity, but to residues of that human ignorance which in every branch 
of knowledge is being gradually overcome. Now, the internal method, the natu- 
ralistic method, cannot by any travesty of l(igic be converted into meaning any- 
thing but " spontaneous " generation. The word spontaneous is exactly " pat," is 
the exact synonym required here. Whatever does not act spontaneously, or, in 
other words, in obedience to the necessities of the forces residing in it, acts in 
consequence of some external force ; and if an external force is to be brought 
into requisition in the matter of the beginning of life, it must be supernatural, 
and the term *• god " is the only one applicable to it. Either spontaneous gene- 
ration or God : that is the alternative. People of intellect who suffer themselves 
to be scared, by the bugbear which religionists have essayed to make of the 
former hypothesis are obliged by inexorable fate to betake themselves to the 
camp of superstition, and to stay there until ready to accept spontaneous gene- 
ration. Any generation not spontaneous and self-caused must be extraneous 
and God-caused. 

It certainly seems unreasonable for a pseudo-scientist to at once pronounce 
for an uncaused, spontaneous, and eternal universe, and for the spontaneous- 
evolution of life-forms, all the way from simple amoebas to the heterogeneous 
structures of the twentieth century ; and yet, on the other hand, to invoke the 
aid of a god in explanation of the fact of the existence of the organic upon and 
its subsistence out of the inorganic. The admitted natural evolution of a giant 
oak from an acorn, or of a Spencer or a Browning from an infinitesimal seminal 
spore, is surely no less wonderful and inexplicable per se than would be the 
evolution of a bit of unconscious living protoplasm out of unconscious chemical 
affiliations under yet unsolved conditions. 

To presume that a supreme ruler of the universe, after setting the machinery 
of things a-moving in the incredibly distant past, amply endowed for its work, 



•244 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

and permitting worlds and suns and systems to come and go without interfer- 
ence, would at a certain period in the cooling of one insignificant world dab it 
with a few minute, raw, and shapeless specs of protoplasm, and would thereupon 
retire again, and allow organic evolution to go on during myriads of ages without 
interference, — is to stamp oneself as even more foolishly credulous, if possible, 
than are those whose religion is still belief in the hell-fire and Jehovah of good 
old John Wesley. Compared with such extraordinary god-conduct, the miracles 
introduced by orthodi^xy to put a plausible appearance upon the naturalness of 
the Deluge story pale into dulness. 

If God had to perform a hundred childish miracles to get the world destroyed 
and saved via the Deluge, the Ark, and contemptible human instrumentalities, 
the question suggests itself, of course, why he did not do the work in one easy, 
instantaneous miracle. And not less strange is the supposed interference of the 
deity with a trivial metamorphosis like the endowment of matter with nascent 
consciousness, while at the same time vaster and less easily decipherable previous 
and subsequent rnetamorphoses are allowed to proceed spontaneously. 

(To be concluded.) 



Hn HMer's IRotes- 

:o: 



FEMALE SUFFRAGE. 

About thirty ladies, married and maiden, from the Women's Christian Temper- 
ance Union, waited on Premier Whitney, and requested him to extend to the 
matrons of Ontario the same municipal franchise as is enjoyed by their maiden 
and widowed sitters. If they can convince the Premier of the sanity of their 
petition, and your good lady happens to be the property-owner of the household, 
henceforth your civic duty will consist of escorting her to and from the polling- 
booth. 

Two eminent Methodist divines, the Rev. Drs. Burwash and Courtice, toddled 
into the Premier's presence in the wake of the ladies The Premier followed 
time-honored precedent, and promised to take the matter into his " serious 
consideration." 

There must be some three or four hundred thousand married women in On- 
tario. Now, this small party of married women |)etitioning Mr. Whitney on 
behalf of the matrons of Ontario seems almost as great an absurdity as the three 
tailors of Tooley-street proclaiming themselves as '' We, the People of England." 
More absurd was the presumption of the maiden members of the deputation ; 
but the climax of absurdity was the presumption of ihe two clerical toddlers. 

St;me philanthropic individual should endow a chair of Humor in every theo- 
logical college. It would be a more effectuaJ saving grace than Faith, Hope, or 
• Charity'. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 245 

The arguments advanced by the deputation were as weighty as might naturally 
be expected from ladies with a mission. The pet proposition put before the 
Premier was that, as women took part in the housekeeping of the home, they 
were entitled to take part in the greater housekeeping of the nation. This is a 
nice-sounding mouthful of words, but so sweetly illogical and beautifully unin- 
telligible as scarcely to justify a Premier of Ontario in attempting to make such 
a radical change. 

One lady suggested that it would make the Premier immortal, — no doubt with 
a secret hope that there would also be thirty immortelles, and a forgetfulness 
that, according to revealed relig'on, there are two kinds of immortality. Im- 
mortality, beneficent or maleficent, might come high at the price. 

Another fair speaker said : " We require this to be the equals of our brothers." 
Nature is stronger than even the Women's Christian Temperance Union. In 
some things, alas ! they can never be the equals of their brothers. Suppose 
Uncle Sam should take to swinging his big stick northward, it would be their 
brothers who would get down into the dirty trenches, and take pot shots at and 
be pot-shotted by their American brothers. Men are men, and women are only 
women, even if they do belong to the Women's Christian Temperance Union. 

Another lady with an historical bent of mind traced out the history of the 
gradual emancipation of married women's property from the thrall of her marital 
tyrant. 

'• A little learning is a dangerous thing ; 
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring," 

Says Pope ; and if the historically-minded fair one had gone a little farther, she 
would have made an astounding discovery. The jurisprudence of pagan Rome 
exhibits the same evolution of married women's separate estate. With the fall 
of paganism and the rise of Christianity, the wife was shorn of her proprietary 
rights. Marriage became a sacrament of the church. A few magic words from 
a priest made the twain one flesh. •• What God hath joined together let no man 
put asunder," was the fiat of the church. The potent magic which could make 
two persons one easily whisked away the property from the wife and vested it 
in the husband, and clinched the transaction in the name of the same omnipo- 
tent authority. The rescue of the wife's property is only one of the many vic- 
tories which Rationalism has gained from Religion— the horse sense of the com- 
munity from the nonsense of the church. 

The dear good ladies of the W. C. T. U. are rapidly becoming Agnostics, 
carrying with them two of the most eminent divines of the Methodist Church, 
and have made a daring effort to convert Ontario's Premier. Secular Thought 
never made any such daring attempt, and cannot boast of any such signal suc- 
cess. Whence came the inspiration to these good Christian ladies ? Assuredly 
not from the pages of Holy Writ. Search from Genesis to Revelation, and even 
religious astuteness can find nothing in its £avor. Or suppose our fair friends 



246 SECULAK THOUGHT. 



and their bodyguard waited on the Apostle Paul : would their reception have 
been as courteous ? The stern bald-headed old bachelor would have answered 
them in "straight-flung words and few": " Wives, be obedient to your husbands." 
As for the bodyguard, if there was any of the unregenerate Saul left in him, and 
ithe rocks were handy, there might have been other martyrs than Stephen. 

The inspiration came from even a less lofty source. These women are ble>sed 
— or cursed — wiih a mission. To banish the poor man's pot of beer and cut 
out the rich man's cocktail is their summum honiim. Female suffrage is but a 
means to an end. Apart from its promoters, this object has its merits and its 
^Weaknesses, a discussion of which would unduly lengthen these notes ; but 
wherever it has been tried its success has hitherto been so doubtful as to justify 
Mr. Whitney in keeping it long in the pickle of his consideration. 



THE ONTARIO LORD'S DAY ALLIANCE. 

The Ontario Lord's Day Alliance also have been interviewing Mr. Whitney. 
They wanted him to enact some Lord's Day legislation. Mr. Whitney received 
them courteously, but of course the various powers of the Province and of the 
Dominion were in litigation, and he could do nothing until they were deter- 
mined. In the meantime, he proposed to have the Province represented by 
•counsel when the matter came up before the Privy Council. As politics, this is 
^n edition de luxe. He pleased everybody and did nothing. He dodged awk- 
ward legislation, he threw a sop to Cerberus, and he contrived a fat fee, a snug 
trip to England, and a glance at the arcana of English society for some political 
friend at the expense of the taxpayer. From the standpoint of the politician, it 
was tact ; but to those of us who are only plain citizens, it would be refreshing 
if once in a decade or so we had a man in the Seats of the Mighty with sufficient 
respect for the dignity of his manhood to smite humbugs on their parabolic 
curves with the foot strenuous ; and, if the occasion demanded, sufficient courage 
to say : To Hades with a few fool votes. 

The Lord's Day Alliance people should be content to enjoy ^their own little 
odd whims in their own little odd corners. Nobody would object to this. But 
when they wish the civil authorities to enforce their fads on the community by 
the machinery of the criminal law, it is high time some efforts were made to curb 
their mad career. 

At first, this agitation was chiefly confined to a barrister with a longer suit of 
piety than practice. As he opened up vistas of endless litigation, all the other 
members of the profession with an odor of sanctity hustled to get into the game. 
Then there were other fields of graft to be exploited. Branch associations were 
formed all over the country. Collections were always taken up. The martyrdom 
of these saints was beautifully gilt-edged. I can see the holy horror of the good 
people when I suggest that, after all, filthy lucre, not piety, is the chief cause of 
the continuance of this movement. No doubt there are other causes, which I 
shall diseuss a little, further on ; .but I think a little explanation will convince 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 247: 



any one that I am not wide of the mark. If the contributions stopped, the 
whole movement would die of anaemia in twenty-four hours. 

Now, let us look at the question itself, on the merits. From the Christian 
point of view, much might be said in favor of observing the Jewish Sabbath ; 
something might be said from a Roman Catholic point of view in favor of ob- 
serving the Lord's Day ; but I fail to see a single rational argument in its favor. 
I have attended Protestant churches for the past forty years, and I have never 
yet heard from a Protestant pulpit an explanation of why we observe Sunday, and 
not Saturday. Let me ask any reader if he ever has. Or, belter still, let him 
try a simple experiment. Let him purchase two postage stamps. This will cost 
him four cents. The other cent will buy a sheet of paper and two envelopes. 
Then let him write a letter to the Secretary of the Lord's Day Alliance, and ask 
him. Enclose a duly stamped and addressed envelope for a reply. The result, 
without a doubt, will be the silence which is golden. 

Search the New Testament from cover to cover, and you will find that Messrs. 
Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Peter, and Jude, who, we are taught, were 
inspired, — though the poor fellows, as they struggled with their papyrus manu- 
scripts, never dreamed of their posthumous canonization, — knew nothing about 
this new game. The only authorities for this innovation were the traditions of 
the Fathers and the Councils of the Roman Catholic Church. How bitterly 
the Protestants attacked the authority of the Fathers and the Councils is known 
to every student of history. 

Our Lord's Day Alliance people are very bitter Protestants. They balk like 
bucking bronches at the Autonomy Bills, and they bristle like Kilkenny cats at 
the name of Mgr. Sbarretti. Yet every Saturday they profane a day hallowed by 
the God himself whom they profess to worship ; while every Sunday they would 
fine and imprison the Pope for not observing properly a day instituted by autho- 
rities sacred to him, but utterly discredited to them. By a strange paradox, the 
ultra-Protestant Lord's Day Alliance fanatics have become more Roman Catholic 
than the College of Cardinals. 

I mentioned before that there were other reasons than the commercial one of 
graft The above argument, it seems to me, effectually eliminates considerations 
of right and reason. The other reason seems to be this The one constant cha- 
racteristic of the priestly caste, in all time and in every place, has been : If you 
scratch a priest (or pastor) you will always find a despot. Their sweet *' I will,"^ 
and the answering " I shall " of their fellow creatures, has always been very dear 
to them ; and in the holy of holies of their hearts their prayer has been, " O 
Lord ! not thy will, but mine, be done ! " 

The Lord's Day Alliance is rapidly becoming a nuisance. Let us begin an 
agitation to curb such clogs on the wheel of progress. Idler. 

Since the above was written, the Municipal Committee of the Ontario Legis- 
lature have unanimously refused to extend the municipal franchise to women. 



" What started the fuss at the milkmen's ball ? " 

•* Some blamed fool asked one of the milkmen if he had brought his pumps 
along." 



One of the noblest works of nature, is the. man who pays for his paper without 
being d\u\ne± — Denver Ledge,. 



248 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



J Sboulb OLlF^e to be tbe BeviL 

:o: 

BY DR. T. WILKINS. 

:o: 

I SHOULD like to be the Devil, with his cute and cunning ways, 
And be rolling in his riches during my eternal days. 
I should like to make some people, who are riding o'er the poor, 
Feel the weight of stern old Justice, through a kind uf X-ray cure. 

I should like to be the Devil of the dim and misty yore, 
Who with forked tail and split feet stood around each church house door. 
They have turned their backs upon him as a handy thing obscure. 
Since he gave back all their infants from his incubating cure. 

I should like to be the Devil for an earthly term of years, 
To give back to human tyrants all their woe-created tears. 
I should like to hold the noses to the grindstone for awhile, 
Of the ones who hold their brothers with demoniacal smile. 

I should like to be the Devil, with his power all supreme, 
I would surely play the devil with the present social scheme. 
I should like to bake the Christian and consume his silly creed, 
And try-out the selfish tissue of all human sordid greed. 

I should like to be the Devil, with his once intrinsic worth, 
When he stood as God's " right-bower" in the running of the earth, 
And brought forth each great invention, much against Jehovah's will : 
I should like to aid more fully in repairing this old mill. 

I should like to be the Devil, with the Devil's old-time sway : 

I should like to dig up victims of the Inquisition's day, 

And hold up before the Christians, as an echo of their songs, 

The grim grinning skulls and dry-bones of their tortured human throngs. 

I should like to be the Devil that was pictured out by man, 

Who so oft appeared and thwarted God Almighty's perfect plan. 

I should wield my strength for people who are blinded by the schemes 

That but rob them of the sweetness of their highest earthly dreams. 

I should like to be the Devil for an age or two and see 
How much better to the people than Jehovah I could be. 
I should like to brush the tear-drops of his anger all away ; 
And bring peace along with plenty while upon the earth I stay. 

I should like to be the Devil on the earth a little spell, 
i would give the trusts a foretaste of their own deserving hell. 
I would give them, as to others they gave alms they only stole. 
Ample justice, aniple cooking, in my heated cauldron bowl. 

I should like to be the Devil, with the progress he has made 

With religion and its tenets, all within the last decade ; 

Td use my ingenuity inventing an X-ray 

That would bring the human conscience to the open light of day. 

— Progressive Thinker. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 249 

H problem Sreater tban ^elepatb?* 

:o: 

BY GOLDWIN SMITH, IN N. Y. SUN. 

:o: 

The last cited case of telepathy is that of a loving wife filled with sudden anxiety 
by the silence of her absent husband, whom she afterwards finds to have been 
sick. Incidents such as this, dressed up by our retroactive fancy, become 
mysterious and the materials of a new faith. Our minds are thereby turned from 
questions really momentous in the solution of which we are called upon to help 

each other. 

One writer in the telepathic discussion glances at the question of a future 
state in a way which seems to imply that he hardly deems it pressing. Yet surely 
no question can be more pressing, if we. have any means of solving it, than that 
of existence after death. I avoid the phrase "immortality of the soul," because 
I cannot form an i lea of immortality any more than I can of infinity or eternity, 
both of which elude conception. 

Conscience tells us that according as we do well or ill in this life it will be well 
or ill for us hereafter. Is the evidence of conscience less trustworthy than that 
of our bodily senses ? If the evidence of our bodily senses and the science 
built upon them alone is trustworthy, on what does their prerogative rest ? May 
we not be in a universe unseen by Newton or Darwin ? 

That death wipes out the score of life and levels the best with the worst of 
men, the man who has been the benefactor with the one who has been the curse 
of his kind, is a belief from which our moral nature recoils as strongly as our 
physical nature recoils from anything contradictory of sense. 

Positivism,' in place of the hope of personal existence hereafter, presents to us 
impersonal existence as a factor in the progress of humanity. But that which is 
not personal is not ours. After all, in what is the progress to end ? According 
to science, in the physical catastrophe of our planet. 

What would be the consequence to society of the belief, if we should be drivet> 
to it, that death is the end ? Would there be any rational inducement to self- 
sacrifice or effort for the common good ? Would not struggle for the means of 
present enjoyment be in fact the true wisdom ? Is not a tendency of this kind 
making^ itself felt as religious belief grows weak ? Positivism points to the 
military self-devotion of the Japanese. Is it more than the blind instinct of sur- 
viving tribalism with a sort of tribal deity in the form of the Mikado ? 

Old arguments of the natural kind no doubt are failing us. We can no longer 
hold with the good Bishop Butler that the soul is a being distinct from the body,, 
indiscernible, and therefore probably indissoluble. We know that what we call 
the soul is the consummate outcome of the general frame. Nor can we, wiih 
Socrates, found our faith on a pre-existence attested by the presence in us of 
innate ideas. When Socrates points to the distinction between the lyre and the 
melody as analogous to that between the body and the soul, a hearer replies a^ 



^50 SECULAE THOUGHT. 



cnce that when the lyre is broken the melody dies. Of ghosts or spiritualist 
apparitions there is no need to speak. 

We are met with the cases of idiots, lunatics, children dying in infancy, savages 
and others, who have not seen moral light. The argument seems conclusive 
against universal resurrection^ but not against the survival of responsibility 
where responsibility has been. 

Conscience implies the existence of a deity, to whose tribunal it appeals, not 
'^he Deity of Genesis or of a weak human imagination, but of a power which 
upholds righteousness and directs all in the end to good. It implies, not the 
'reedom of the will, if by that is meant exclusion of antecedents, but volition, the 
reality of which extreme materialism seems to deny. The exact relation between 
the antecedents and the volition we may not be able to define. The existence 
of volition, as well as of the antecedents, is assumed in all our judgments on our 
own actions and those of our fellows. 

Now, sir, 1 have done, having already trespassed, I fear, too often on your 
columns. I have not presumed to put forward any theory, for, indeed, I cannot 
pretend to have one. I have only tried to call attention to certain phenomena, 
or apparent phenomena, of human nature which, it seems to me, evolution has 
not yet explained, and which appear to point to something beyond our present 
state. I am heartily loyal to science ; but it is always possible that the impetus 
of a great discovery may carry us too far. 

Toronto, Oc 3. 



Caster Sunbaij, Xte ©nain, an& Mbat Some motet) 
flDen 2)i& ICbat 2)ai2^ 

BY A. CORN, SR., STRATFORD. 

:o: 

The millinery openings in the various churches throughout the length and 
breadth of Christendom were particularly fine, according to the daily papers, on 
Easter Sunday last. Every class and condition of humanity was represented : 
good girls and bad girls and those that had ceased to be girls at all. They were 
all there, from the tall girl with amber hair and blue eyes, the diminutive creature 
with olive skin and curly locks, to robust matrons of questionable age, and gray- 
headed grandmothers, — all vieing with each other, not only in headgear, but in 
brilliance of costume, in order to do what seemed to them justice to the end of 
the Lenten season. 

Like many of the popular religious observances, Easter is clearly of Pagan 
origin. The goddess Oslara, or Eostre, seems to have been the personification 
of the morning, or East, and also of the opening year, or spring. The Anglo- 
Saxon name of April was Estermonath ; and it is still known by this name in 
•Germany. The worship of this deity seems to have struck deep root in northern 
Germany, and was brought into England by the Saxons. It was especially a 
'-festival of joy — joy at the rising of the natural sun, and at the awakening of 



SECULAK THOUGHT. 251 

nature from the death of winter. With her usual policy, the church endeavored 
to give a Christian signiticance to such of the rites as could not be rooted out ; 
and in this case the conversion was particularly easy. And to-day it is vastly 
interesting to those young people of both sexes who, for family and other reasons, 
have been for the past six weeks sitting in sackcloth and ashes, so to speak. 
They may now come out of their shells and mix up with the gay old world and 
partake of all the pleasures this transient life has to offer. 

It may prove interesting to note how some of the most talked-of men of our 
day and generation spent the day. A report from Lakewood, N.J., states that 
John D Rockefeller walked into the Baptist Church, Easter Sunday, carrying a 
potted azalea in bloom. His secretary carried a calla. 

J. Pierpont Morgan, London, England, attended service in St. Paul's Cathedral. 

President Roosevelt was still in camp, *' huntin' for b'ar " in the wilds of 
Colorado. 

Enough is given here of the men most in the public eye. The contributions 
of Mr. Rockefeller and his secretary, symbolizing fidelity and purity, are charac- 
teristic of the great multimillionaire ; for where in the world to-day will you find 
another man with the fidelity of purpose of John D. Rockefeller ? Where will 
you find a man, as chief of the great trusts, who has done more to cause misery 
and suffering in the world than he has ? — a man with a soul so shrunken that a 
powerful magnifying glass would have to be utilized to locale its former abode. 
The calla lily carried by his secretary showed up in strange contrast to the soulless 
man who walked beside it. Greed and purity ! Ye gods, what an unholy com- 
bination 1 

J. Pierpont Morgan went to church ; that's the most the dispatches said of 
him He is the same man who formed the combine to gather in all the 
merchantmen of Europe, but did not quite succeed. J. P. M. has his eye still 
on the air and sunlight, and if we don't mind he'll have a monopoly of these ere 
long. 

And then as to Teddy : he did not come into civilization from his camp. And 
he showed the most sense of the bunch. It may look as if he were winking at 
these oetopuses that are eating the very vitals out of the Republic ; but time will 
probably show that Roosevelt's head was one of the many level ones on last 
Easter Sunday. In addition to the millinery openings and sich, it Is a great day 
for " rake-offs " for the clergy. 



A gentleman farmer bought some samples of a new variety of potatoes, and, 
giving them to his gardener, cautioned him to be sure and plant them far enough 
apart. Next day he asked the gardener what he had done. " Did you plant the 
potatoes far enough apart, Mike? " "Sure an* I did, sor," said Mike. *' I put 
some in your garden and some in mine, so they are four miles apart, sor 1 " 



252 SECULAE THOUGHT. 



CORRESPONDENCE 



GOOD FRIDAY AND SALVATION 

Editor Secular Thought. 

Dear Sir, — This is what is commonly called "Good Friday." It is a day 
:kept in commemoration of the crucifying of a man named Jesus by the Romans 
and Jews jointly, something like 1870 years ago. By this execution, according 
to popular belief, men are all saved from their sins, and after death they emigrate 
to a glorious place called Fleaven, but only on one conr'ition : that they in life 
■believed in the eflfiiciency of the above-mentioned crucifixion as a power to save 
from sins. Those who do not believe that will have to settle after death in a 
place where the climate will not be very agreeable, though healthy enough to 
sustain life, as nobody is yet reported to have starved to death there. 

I will now soon reach the half century mile-i)Ost, and have from my youth up 
given the above question a very serious study, and I have so far failed to see any 
reason or sense in the above-mentioned philosophy. I believe more strongly 
than ever that the emigration agents for those mysterious countries are like all 
other emigration agents — simply wilful falsifiers, and talk about countries of which 
they know nothing, just for the money there is in it. 

For the life of me, I cannot understand that the execution of a man some 
eighteen or nineteen hundred years ago can have anything to do with my 
salvation in a future life, no matter whether the execution was just or unjust. 
Thousands— )es, millions — have unjustly suffered death both before and since. 
And my belief is that this crucifixion salvation is a remaining relic from 
ancient times of human sacrifices, made with the idea of af)peasing angry gods ; 
which later was modified to the sacrifice of lambs and doves ; being finally 
modified to the sacrifice of money, which to-day is typified by our collection-box. 

Fraternally yours, 

J. S. Odegaard. 



NOW FOR THE LIBERAL LECTURE FIELD. 

Editor Sb-cular Thought. 

Dear Sir, — Although it is said that Liberalism has declined that it is in an 
eclipse, I know that the church has not defeated it ; and, judging by my many 
years of public platform work, the people enjoy Liberal lectures. A great deal 
depends upon the manner of presenting Liberalism to the public. It requires 
as much skill to propagate truth at to advocate error. 

Now, in spite of the prevailing apathy, I will again enter the lecture-field to 
proclaim our broad humanitarian principles founded on science, if Liberals will 
help me to start this independent movement Rich or poor, can we not do 
something to help so good a cause? I ask you, will you not aid me to embark 
in this campaign of true education, common sense, science ? Cannot each do a 
little according to means ? Should we allow the credulous Christian world to 
perpetuate its power ? Why not press forward ? Suppose the mass of Freethinkers 
are poor? A large proportion of the members of the wealthy Catholic church 
are poor — but they all help a little Let who will think, or say, that Liberalism 
is a " forlorn hope," I know that mankind needs it. If I can get started once 
more I am confident that the people will help sustain me in the field. Wherever 
I have travelled I have succeeded in almost every town in convincing the most 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 258 



intelligent Christians who dare listen to our teachings that Liberalism is worthy 
of universal acceptance. From the press I have received as fine notices of the 
work done as were ever accorded by our own Freethought journals. I have given 
my life to this cause, and want to work for its advancement as long as I am able. 
It is a grand thing to work for mental freedom. Will you not help me to do this ? 
Do what you can. A few Liberals have already sent the following sums : John 
Wolf. Forreston, 111., $5 00 ; Sara L Vansickle, Gates, Ind , $5. 00 ; M. Bodmer, 
Madison, Wis, $1.00; E. B. Tanner, Attica, O., $2.00; N. S. Johnson, Sioux 
Falls, S.U., $5.00. Address me at Pentwater, Mich., U. S. A. 

Yours fraternally, W. F. Jamieson. 



MISCELLANEOUS 



FREETHOUGHT PROGRESS IN SOUTH AMERICA.— A friend, 
writing from Santiago, in Chile, South America, gives a very encouraging account 
of the progress of freethought in that very Catholic country. He says : " Here 
we have no less than half a dozen radical papers in which the priests get badly 
handled when they don't behave themselves correctly. 'I he feuilleton of Ln Ley 
is not one of Dumas' novels, but the history of the scandalous lives of the popes. 
On Sunday last I went out to take a walk before dinner, and when I reached the 
Plaza I could not get across it for the throng congregated there to listen to an 
harangue delivered by a lawyer on freethought. It was nothing but a grent 
meeting of freethinkers held in front of the cathedral and the Bishop's palace. 
The lawyer spoke with great vim and eloquence against the Pope, the bishops, 
the priests, and the Roman religion in general, and every point he made was 
received with the greatest applause and approbation.' It was a fine demonstration 
and hopeful for progress." 



SIR FREDEICK TREVES ON ALCOHOL —A few days ago Sir 
Frederick Treves, surgeon to the King, in addressing a temperance meeting, 

ive it as his deliberate opinion that alcohol, even in small quantities, is distinctly 
a poison, and should be restricted in use in the same way as other poisons. In 
no sense, he said, was it an "appetizer," and small doses hindered digestion. 
Mthough its stimulating effect may be felt for a moment, when this effect has 

assed, the capacity for work fails enormously ; and its use by physicians as a 
remedy was rapidly diminishing. The high position held by Sir Frederick in his 
profession will doubtless give great weight to his very decided opinions. 'I'he 
Montreal Star interviewed a number of the best known doctors as to their views 
on this matter ; and it is noticeable that, though one or two thought Sir 
Frederick had been rather too strong in staling his opinion, in the main they all 
agreed that *' the less alcohol a man takes the better it is for him." This is a 
view we have held for a long time. 



GROWTH OF METHODISM IN TORONTO.— It is stated that Metho- 
dism has made such strides in the west end of Toronto, that during the coming 
summer the Methodists will turn $150,000 into bricks and mortar, etc., iri the 
shape of four new churches, to accommodate the present and future adherents. 
The Methodist Church is undoubtedly one of the most noticeable features of 
Canadian life, and an attendant at their churches cannot but be impressed with 



^54 SECULAE THOUGHT. 



the fervor of the congregations. Whatever may be the character of their beliefs 
individually, undoubtedly they carry their Bibles and hymn-books to church as 
religiously and ostentatiously as do the adherents of any other church, and their 
'tremendous display of spring millinery and fashionable attire in no way prevents 
them from ''joining heartily " in those parts of the service allotted to the laity — 
or, for the matter of that, from riding home on the street cars, after having heard 
ithe preacher denounce them as Sabbath-breaking works of the devil. 



THE EDITOR'S NIGHTMARE. 

I've just awakened from a dream — But,oh,that dream, that dreadful dream! 

Oh, such a crazy vision ! It fills me with cold shivers. 

i dare not tell it to my wife, I feel the chills run down my back, 

She'd greet me with derision. Like small, frost-bitten rivers. 

It serves me right nightmare to have, I dreamed — this is the gospel truth, 

I'm such a thoughtless bumpkin, And I am no imbiber — 

To eat, when bedtime's drawing nigh, I dreamed I got two dollars from 

A pie made out of pumpkin. The man called " Old Subscriber." 

— Geo. V. Hobart. 



IN HONOR OF ADAM. — A Southern newspaper suggests another legal 
holiday. The birthday of great men being now in order, it says : 

'• As Adam was the first man, why not honor his memory by making his birth- 
day a legal holiday? He was the father of the whole race, while Washington 
was only the putative father of the United States, and yet he has a day to his 
credit." 

Mark Twain seems to know more about the life of Adam than anybody else, 
and Congress might do very much worse than give Mark the job of writing a 
thoroughly up-to-date and authentic biography of the Greatest of Men Before 
.Roosevelt. The Pope — for a consideration — would discover Adam's place of 
burial, which would be authenticated by a vote of the College of Cardinals, even 
if it were found to be in the American National Park. Considering that some 
two hundred millions of Christians believe that the Roman Church possesses 
portions of the skeleton of the Grandmother of Yave, our contemporary's idea 
would seem to be an easy one to carry out, if only the church will do its duty. 



RELIGION. 

1 AM no priest of crooks nor creeds. Is this the Christian's boasted bliss ? 

For human wants and human needs Avails your faiih no more than this? 

Are more to me than prophets' deeds ; 

And human deeds and human cares Take up your arms, come out with me. 

Affect me more than human prayers. Let heav'n alone Humanity 

Needs more and heaven less from thee. 
Go, cease your wail, lugubrious saint ! With pity for mankind look 'round ; 
You fret high heaven with your plaint. Help them to rise — and heaven is 
Is this the " Christian's joy" you paint ? found. 

P. L. Dunbar (the Negro Poet). 



Church Worker— Will you not assist us to send a missionary to the cannibals? 
Mr. Gottrox— Not much I'm a vegetarian ; but I'll assist you to send them 
.some easily digested cereal. 



SECULAB THOUGHT. 255 

THE INEVITABLE. ^ 

I like the man who faces what he must Falls from his grasp : better, with love, a 

With step triumphant and aheart of cheer; crust, 

Who fights the daily battle without fear ; Than living in dishonor : envies not, 
Sees his hopes fail, yet keeps unfaltering Nor loses faith in man, but does his best, 

trust Nor ever murmurs at his humbler lot ; 

That nature's plans will somehow, true But with a smile and words of hope gives. 

and just, zest 

Work out for good of mortals. Not a tear To every toiler. He alone is great 
Is shed when fortune, which the world Who by a life heroic conquers fate. 

holds dear, — W. Roper. 



THE CLERGY AND RELIGION IN SCHOOL.— Perhaps it has no sig- 
nificance, but the " movement " for teaching religion in the public schools of the 
District of Columbia is headed by gentlemen who are all making a comfortable 
living out of religion ; and they are fortifying themselves with an earnest opinion 
of the Archbishop of Canterbury, whom religion has not suffered to starve. He 
lives in a beautil'ul palace, and his income from Church and State would make a 
pretty contrast to that of an early Galilean fisherman. I am myself strongly of 
the opinion that not enough attention is given in the public schools to news- 
paper paragraphs— which are the glory of American literature, the bulwark of 
public morals, and the foundation of public stability. — Ambrose Bierce. 

CLERICAL LIBERALITY.— Here is a copy of an advertisement from an 
English church journal : *' Required — A lad about 20. Must be a churchman, 
of good education, who can drive a horse and cart, assist in the stable and gar- 
den (melons and cucumbers), milk cows and understand pigs ; must be accus- 
tomed to wait at table, and of gentlemanly appearance, early riser and teetotaler. 
Good references required. Commencing wage, ;£io a year ; live out except 
dinner. Apply, with four testimonials, by letter in first instance." The parson 
who offers thre magnificent wage of 93)^' cents per week to a young man of gery- 
tlemanly appearance with all the qualifications named will doubtless get suited 
with a kindred spirit to himself — a hypocritical thief. 



MUTUAL BENEFIT. — A Sunday magazine tells this story concerning a 
minister spending his vacation in Germany. A gentleman just home from that 
country met one of the absent preacher's deacons, and remarked : "Oh, I met 
Mr. Sorfted in Germany. He is vastly improved by the change." "Ah," dryly 
replied the deacon ; " sae are we ! " 



Citizen — You wouldn^t sell your vote, would you, 'Rastus ? 
Mr. Erastus Pinkley— No, sub ! But if a gemman wot's runnin' for office was 
to gib me two dollahs, common gratitude would make me vote fob him. 



A teacher in a Boston public school was seeking to give her boys a definite 
idea of a volcano, and drew a picture of one on the blackboard, the flames being 
represented with a piece of brilliant red chalk. Turning to the class, she said : 
"Can any boy tell me what that looks like ? " 

One boy immediately held up his band, and the teacher said : " Well, Joey, 
you may tell us." 

" II looks like helU ma'am," Joey replied, with startling promptness.. 



256 SECULAE THOUGHT. 



THE OWNER OF THE SIDEWALK HAS THE FUN. 

The following incident will show how easy it is to make money. It is really 
easier than falling off the proverbial log, for there's never any fun falling off 
a log, and there may be fun in making money. My young hopeful, aged nine, 
had his ambition fired to make money last summer by seeing other boys selling 
lemonade — a very common thing in the city of Providence ; so he asked his 
mother could he do likewise, and her consent being given, here is what he did : 

It was a lonesome job alone, so he induced a little chum, a boy of his own 
age, to go partners. They set up a stand outside my boy's, — or his father's 
— house (I'm not sure which), and sold lemonade, two or three cents per glass. 
The weather being hot, business was good ; I should say very good, for in 
two days they had cleared three dollars each. Had they continued, both might 
have had a nice little bank account, but they didn't. At the end of the 
second day they had a row. The partner made a big kick. Here's the kick : 

Partner — " I don't think this is a square deal." 

My Bo}^ — " Why ? " (Indignant as a 3^oung hornet.) 

Partner — " Why ? Why (his voice becoming staccato), I'm doing every- 
thing ! I'm the whole bunch ! And you're doing nothing ! No, not one 
little bit ! But you get half the money all the same ! I've supplied the stand ; 
I've supplied the crock to hold the lemonade ; I've supplied the lemons, the 
.sugar, and the glasses. Furthermore, I've sold every glass there was sold. I 
haven't left the counter for a minute ; and you, what have you done 1 Nothing ! 
Only went to the circus one day, to a ball game the other ; and when you might 
have relieved me, you wouldn't do it, but went playing with the boys instead. 
That ain't a square deal ! I ain't agoing to stand for it ! Me do all the work, 
auppl}^ everything, and you get as much as I do ! Not on your tintype ! " 

My Boy — " Ain't it my dad's sidewalk ?" 

Partner—" Yes." 

My Boy — "Well, if you don't like it, you just take your stand, and your 
crock, and your lemons, and — and yourself too, and get out, and don't talk 
to me again, and I'll get Willie Jones to go into partnership with me." 

When the young partner went home his mother spanked him, and his father 
said he did not know enough to go in when it rained. 

Moral- — If you want to make money in the lemonade business, be sure that 
your father owns the "sidewalk." That's where the fun comes in. 

"Now, do you see the cat V — The Public, Chicago. 



ONLY MINUTES, BU F— 

We are but minutes — little things ! We are but minutes— when we bring 

Each one furnished with sixty wings, A few of the drops from pleasure's spring. 

With which we fly on our unseen track, Take their sweetness while yet we stay — 

And not a minute ever comes back. It takes but a minute to fly away. 

We are but minutes — yet each one bears We are but minutes — use us well, 

A little burden of joys and cares. For how we are used we must one day tell. 

Take patiently the minutes of pain, Who uses minutes has hours to use ; 

The worst of minutes cannot remain. Who loses minutes whole years must lose. 



You may be sure that he is a good man whose intimate friends are all good. 
■L(water. 



SEC ULAE THOUGHT 

A Fortnightly Journal of Rational Criticism in 
Politics, Science, and Religion. 



J. S. ELUS. Editor. 


NEW SERIES. 




C. n. ELUS. Bu5. Mgr. 


Vou XXXI. No. 9. 


TORONTO, MAY 29, 


1905. 


"loc; $2 per ann. 



Zbc purif^ino an& finnobling power of poetry* 

:o:^ 

We are unwilling to name the greatest of Greek poets without 
paying due toll of reverent gratitude. The purifying power 
of poetry has been more written about than felt. He who 
would come under its direct influence should glance through a 
play of ^schylus. He will hardly read twenty lines without 
feeling that a liberating, an ennobling, an enlarging influence 
has been exerted upon his soul. We are here faced by one of 
the most attractive problems of human nature. Poetry shares 
with music the power, possessed in a lower degree by the other 
arts, and even by the beautiful in nature, of creating that 
inward peace which reigns when the whole personality domi- 
nates over its minor elements, and of producing the intense 
pleasure peculiar to this state of psychical equilibrium. How 
is it that such an effect is possible, is a question which may 
perhaps be answered, with more assurance than is justifiable 
now, in an age when aesthetic as well as ethical problems come 
to be treated on the lines of biology. — Prof. Th. Gomperz 
( * * Greek Th inkers ' ), 

EDITORIALS. 

Sir Robert Anderson is one of the latest oppo- 
THE HIGHER nents of the Bible Critics. In an article in 

CRITICS, ARE THEY Blackwoods' Magazine, with the title, '' Benefac- 
BENEFACTORS OR tors or Blasphemers ? " he says his principle is 
BLASPHEMERS ? *' not to waste time on collateral issues if your 

opponent's case can be shattered on some vital 
point" — a good enough principle, indeed, but applied by Sir Robert in a 



258 SECULAK THOUGHT. 

truly wonderful fashion. The point he selects with which to shatter the 
case of the Higher Critics, and which, he asserts, " proves the critical 
hypothesis to be untenable and false," is " the admitted and well known 
fact that the Pentateuch constituted in an exclusive sense the Bible of 
the Samaritans." And he quotes the authority of the late Prof. Kobert- 
son Smith (in the " Encycl. Brit.") to the effect that — 

" They (the Samaritans) regard themselves as Israelites, descendants 

of the ten tribes, and claim to possess the orthodox religion of Moses 

The priestly law, which is throughout based on the practice of the priests 
in Jerusalem before the captivity, was reduced to form after the exile, 
and was published in Ezra as the law of the rebuilt temple of Zion. The 
Samaritans must, therefore, have derived their Pentateuch from the Jews 
after Ezra's reforms." 

Sir Robert then goes on to accuse Robertson Smith of " outraging 
reason and fact" by his assertion that "the Samaritan religion was built 
on the Pentateuch alone," after stating that the Samaritans " contended 
that, not only the temple of Zion, but the priesthood of Eli, were schis- 
matical," and that in post-exilic times the religious strife between Jews 
and Samaritans had assumed a phase of intense hatred and abhorrence. 
On such a foundation as this — the traditional claims of the Samaritans 
— Sir Robert feels justified in brushing aside the whole of the results of 
modern criticism. 

It is a common argument among ecclesiastics that only trained theo- 
logians are competent to pronounce an opinion upon these questions, 
but it is patent to any common-sense man who can read and write that 
Sir Robert's argument is entirely fallacious. Whether the Pentateuch 
came to us from the Samaritans through the Jews, or from the Jews 
through the Samaritans, does not affect by one iota the question of its 
historical value or its divine inspiration or infallibility. Any sane reader 
can tell that the fabulous and mythical stories in the Pentateuch and 
other "historical" books of the Bible are altogether unreal, and contain 
many conflicting and impossible narratives. 

Whatever the Samaritans may have had to do with the Bible, whether 
Ezra wrote it and published it, or whether he stole it or compiled it from 
the works of other writers, concerns us little, and in no way affects the 
rational criticism of its contents. Any man of sense who examines the 
*' historical " books of the Bible can discover that they are a compilation 
by uncritical editors. 

Sir Robert quotes with approval the words of the Bishop of Durham : 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 259 



*' The matter is one where, while the fairness of controversy must be 
guarded, its mere courtesies may not always be in place. For the ques- 
tion is of tremendous urgency. We are contending for our all ! " 

This is in the true spirit of the ecclesiastical tyrant. It is perfectly 
fair to abuse or persecute the critic, for he is attacking our all — our 
special business. It is a question, not of truth and honor, of right or 
justice, but of — our business, and that is a matter, doubtless, of most 
" tremendous urgency." 

Several times Sir Robert uses the same falla- 
CIRCULAR cious argument that, Jesus being divine, he could 

ARGUMENT. not have been mistaken. The argument of the 

Higher Critics, that Jesus made mistakes, mani- 
festly points to the conclusion that he was merely human. This is blas- 
phemy, of course ; and, very consistently with his other arguments, Sir 
Robert says : 

" The theory seems plausible that in his humiliation the Lord came 
down, for all purposes, to the level of humanity. But, even if true, this 
would leave unexplained the amazing fact that the Divine Spirit, whose 
fullest guidance he promised to his disciples, left him without guidance 
in a matter that was vital to his mission." 

Amazing fact ! When we reflect that the Divine Spirit is supposed to 
be an emanation or a something-or-other that *' proceedeth from" both 
Father and Son, we can understand — if we are faithful to the church — 
how it was that this Divine Spirit should have left " the man Christ 
Jesus " without guidance. Why he should have wanted guidance at all 
seems to be as big a mystery as any in the whole dismal story. 

But how was it that, left without guidance, Jesus made the mistakes ? 
They are not mistakes, boldly replies Sir Robert ; Jesus was divine, and 
therefore could not make mistakes. Did he not claim before the San- 
hedrin that he had spoken " the words of God ? " He must have been 
God, or the Sanhedrin's condemnation of him for blasphemy would have 
been perfectly just, whatever the critics may say. Thus we get the same 
old arguments in the same old round. 

*' There is nothing new under the sun," said the ancient preacher, and 
certainly the modern theologian tries to prove the truth of the saying. 

I The only difiference between the old and the new theology consists in the 
subjective effect of the latter arising from the more rational standpoint 



260 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

of the church as a possibility ; to-day, even a large number of preachers 
have sense enough to see its utter absurdity. 

The childishness of the arguments used to support theology is just as 
apparent, too, as its radical absurdity. Sir Robert Anderson asks us to 
accept his views on the ground that she Samaritans claimed to be the 
possessors of the Pentateuch, that Jesus claimed to be divine, and that 
the Sanhedrin admitted his claim. On such grounds as this, we might 
as well accept Dowie or Schlatter as our god. 

Sir Robert concludes with the same old " gag " 
"WHEN THE of which we have heard so much from Goldwin 

PEOPLE HEAR Smith. If the faith which has been such a curse 

ABOUT IT ! " to the world should be undermined, morality, he 

assures us, must necessarily decline. Goldwin 
Smith puts the matter in a stronger light. Religious faith has declined, 
and our modern wars and militarism and political corruption are evi- 
dences of it. Logic may be infused into such argumentation by those 
who have time at their disposal. But Sir Robert is horrified at the idea 
of what may happen when the working classes hear of these things and 
begin to think about them : 

'* The refinements of the Kenosis theology may influence thought in 
our colleges and drawing-rooms, but they will not do for the street. The 
national character has been built up on belief in the Bible as a divine 
revelation, and to this is due the fact that Britons are the most law- 
abiding people in the world. What, then, will be the effects of the Higher 
Criticism upon the iiiitliinking multitudes? ' Society will pass, to say 
the least, througli a dangerous interval.' The words are those of a well- 
known writer, a champion of * science and criticism,' Professor Goldwin 
Smith. And he adds : 

" * The removal of false beliefs cannot prove in the end but a blessing 
to mankind. But, at the same time, the foundations of general morality 
have inevitably been shaken, and a crisis has been brought on, the gravity 
of which nobody can faii to see, and nobody but; a fanatic of Materialism 
can see without the most serious misgiving.' 

" I press the question, then : Are the critics right? It is indeed a 
question of ' tremendous urgency.' No man can afford to ignore it, and 
no Christian can afford to take sides upon it. If they are right, they 
have earned our gratitude by relieving us from the incubus of error by 
which the teaching of Christ has deluded his people for nineteen cen- 
turies. If they are wrong, the reproach they cast on him must rebound 
with crushing force upon themselves; and no ' mere courtesies' of con- 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 261 

troversy, no mistaken views of Christian charity, can be allowed to check 
the expression of our reprobation. If the Higher Critics are right, let 
them be hailed as benefactors ; if they are wrong, let them be branded 
as blasphemers." 

The man who asserts that " Britons are the most law-abiding people 
in the world " because they believe in the Bible, fittingly finds support 
in the contradictory utterances of a vacillating philosopher like Goldwun 
Smith, and which he has repeated ad nauseam for some years past. 

If it is true that the conclusions of the Higher Critics have not yet 
reached the unthinking masses, how comes it that ** the foundations of 
general morality have been inevitably shaken? " 

If these conclusions are true, and cause the removal of false beliefs, 
and if such a result *' cannot prove in the end but a blessing to man- 
kind," why should any ** grave crisis " be produced by the enlightening 
process ? And if there is such a crisis, why should a ** fanatic of Mate- 
rialism " be the only one to observe it without misgiving ? 

Has it come to this, that it is left to a Fanatic of Materialism to be 
the sole believer in the Biblical aphorism, " The truth shall make you 
free?" 

The false philosophy of Goldwin Smith is shown nowhere more con- 
spicuously than in the assumption that this is a question of ** tremen- 
dous urgency." The facts of human history prove that the movements 
of the human mind are universally slow, and that no fear is justifiable 
that any dangerous revolution can occur from a change in religion. 

Both Goldwin Smith and Sir Robert Anderson stultify themselves in 
attributing their imaginary failure of morality to a failure in religious 
faith which has not yet reached the general public ; they put the effect 
before the cause. If there is any failure of morality, it must be due to 
some pre-existing cause; and, whatever the ultimate cause may be, we 
are unquestionably entitled to say that our religio-moral teachers must 
admit that, according to their own accounts, they have failed in pro- 
ducing a moral generation. 

If there is any dangerous crisis at the present day outside of the vivid 
imaginations of the alarmist prophets of prejudiced cliques, it is in the 
struggle between employers and laborers, between "capital" and "labor." 
That anybody outside of a Jesuit school should attribute this crisis to a 
failure of the faith of the masses in the orthodox theology seems to us 
little short of lunacy. In the St. Petersburg riots, there cannot be a 
question of the workmen's orthodox faith up to the time of the massacre. 



262 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



On Wednesday, May 17, a large audience, we are 
THE METHODISTS told, gathered in Trinity Methodist Church, To- 
AND " AMUSE- ronto, to hear a lecture by the pastor. Rev. W. 

MENTS." H. Hincks, on "Amusements and Church Mem- 

bership." Strangely enough, Mr. Hincks said 
his reason for attacking the subject just now was, that several cases had 
come before him recently in which *' parents had actually discouraged 
their children from joining the church because such a step would inter- 
fere with the social plans they had mapped out for their boys and girls." 
He asserted that it was incumbent upon Methodist parents to bring up 
their children, until they were twenty-one years of age, free from the 
influences of cards, dancing, or the theatre. iVfter that age, children 
might choose for themselves. 

If Mr. Hincks' statements are to be believed, many Methodists think 
the happiness of their children is more likely to be secured b}^ paying 
some deference to the sentiments of their fellows and allowing their chil- 
dren to take part in the customs and means of enjoyment indulged in 
by them, than by obeying strictly the pharisaical and strait-laced rules 
laid down by their ecclesiastical governors. Although there is a large 
element of hypocrisy involved in the statements made by Mr. Hincks, 
such a condition is inevitable when men begin to throw off the yoke of a 
time-honored superstition. 

The revolt against Puritanism was openly joined by Rev. Dr. Griffin, 
who doubted if there was any rule in the Discipline that forbade dancing, 
card-playing or theatre-going; and said that the clause in the Discipline 
which explicitly referred to these amusements was only an interpretative 
clause, added by tlie General Conference of Canada against the wish of 
many Methodists, and was not found in Wesley's rules. 
- This shows us how sacred documents are manufactured. John Wesley 
is not yet a full-fledged taint, for which perhaps one reason is that his 
saintly title might clash with that of Apocalyptic John, although occa- . 
sionally he is referred to as " the sainted John Wesley." But no doubt 
most pious Methodists regard him as having had as much " divine " 
authority for compiling his Discipline as the other John had for telling 
his visions. Probably they are correct. The Canadian Conference has 
taken a hand in the inspiration business by adding to the pains and 
penalties of Wesley's rules, so that their pet notions and prejudices are 
now part and parcel of the ** sacred scriptures " that every orthodox 
Methodist is expected to believe in and act up to. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 263 

Mr. Hincks then began a little hedging business. Asked if a member 
should leave the church if he designed to break the rules, he said that 
a man who distinctly stated when joining the church that he did not 
wish to be bound by the rules, but reserved the right to determine such 
matters for himself, could not fairly be blamed. *' The new clause did 
not have the force of law.'' 

" Then," asked Dr. Griffin, '' why all this fuss ? " Why, indeed ? The 
only reason we can think of is, that the question was taken up with the 
object of testing opinion in the church. Had Dr. Griffin and others been 
afraid to speak out, the Methodist rank and file would have been told 
that their church was unanimously of opinion that card-playing, theatre 
going and dancing were prohibited by Wesley's Discipline. 

But what sort of a church is it that admits as members people who 
declare their unwillingness to be bound by its rules ? If the Methodists 
do this, it says much for their toleration and progress, if not for their 
consistency. They should abolish rules that are not to be binding. 

As it was, Mr. Hincks was led to make this 
BIBLE STOrJES startling proposition, carefully premising that 

AS FOUNDATIONS the reason he knew so much about the theatre 
FOR STAGE PLAYS, was that be used to go to theatres before he be- 
came a Methodist ; which accounts, perhaps, for 
his ultra-Methodism to-day : 

** There was no doubt the theatre had a strong hold of men. Promi- 
nent preachers had advocated staging Old Testament scenes and worthies. 
. . .Occasionally a flash of light peered through the moral darkness, but 
the plays that were put on lacked good ethics and moral vitality. In 
New York, there had been an eclipse of all seriously interesting plays. 
After twenty-five years of study, he was assured the tendency of the 
drama was steadily downward and away from classical merits and lofty 

ideals There was a danger the world over that the theatre would 

become a museum of moral monstrosities." 

Very naturally, opinions will be divided on the question of the degene- 
racy of the stage, according to the view taken of its office in the social 
economy. We are inclined to think that, in an age of keen competition 
and hard work, the stage is fairly well performing its prime function of 
providing relaxation and amusement. Whether its ethical effects are as 
good as they might be we need not say, but, if we compare it with the 
pulpit, we are decidedly of opinion that, with all its defects, it is doing 



264 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

at least as much good as its chief and aggressive opponent. 

What strange ideas some preachers have of moral questions is well 
illustrated by this proposition to dramatise the Bible stories as a means 
of elevating theatrical morality. Men who talk like this must be blind 
idiots. Why, of the whole catalogue of Bible stories and Bible worthies 
there is hardly one that would to-day pass muster as even passably 
moral. If the plan were carried out, it would surely put an end to the 
" sacred " character of the Bible, by making the people familiar with its 
immorality and savagery. 

Just imagine the scenes that would have to be enacted if an attempt 
were made to give a fair idea of Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, 
David, Solomon, or any other of the '' worthies" of Jewish tradition, and 
their deeds of lust and barbarity ! 

" Parsifal '' has given us Jesus Christ as a stage character. If Mr. 
Hincks' suggestion is carried out, Yahve will have to wrestle with Jacob 
on the stage, and the other personalities of the Christian Pantheon will 
also have to appear and invite the plaudits of the audience. And then 
— well, will people go to church on Sunday morning to worship the very 
characters whose sentiments and actions they were approving or con- 
demning at the theatre on Saturday night ? 

Let us sketch a drama of 

DAVID, " THE MAN AFTEE GOD'S OWN HEART." 

Act I. David's Innocent Youth. 

Sc. 1 — David killing a lion and a bear which together had stolen a lamb. 

Sc. 2 — David killing Goliath with his little sling and the Lord's help. 

Sc. 3 — David killing 200 Phillistines and bringing parts of their mutilated 
bodies to Saul as the price of Michal, Saul's daughter, whom he 
marries. 

Sc. 4 — David feigning madness to deceive King Achish, whom he fears. 

Sc. 6 — David meets Abigail, Nabal's wife, and falls in love with her; his 
polite language to her (1 Sam. 25 : 34) : God kills Nabal, and 
David marries Abigail ; also Ahinom. 

Sc. 6 — David, fearing Saul, seeks asylum with King Achish, of Gath,who 
sets apart a town for him and his followers. David sets out on 
a piratical expedition, and utterly annihilates three tribes who 
were friends of Achish, his benefactor, whom he grossly deceives 
on his return with a false account of his horrible work. 

Act II. David as King. 

Sc. 1 — David securing the return of his first wife Michal, after he had 
married six other wives, who had all borne him sons. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 265 

Sc. 2 — David rewarding with death the young men who had killed his 

enemy. 
Sc. 3 — Grand Ballet of David's many wives and concubines. 
Sc. 4 — David, ** in the altogether," dancing before the Lord and before 

all the people. 
Sc. 5 — Michal, disgusted with David's shamelessness, reproves him, and 

for doing so is punished by the Lord with barrenness. 
Sc. 6 — David, watching Bath-sheba, Uriah's wife, in her bath, falls in 

love with her, and forces her to commit adultery with him. 
Sc. 7 — Uriah being engaged fighting in David's army, the latter sends 

a message to Joab to have Uriah treacherously killed. Uriah 

is thus killed, and David marries Bath-sheba. 
Sc. 8 — David takes a census of his people, for which crime the Lord 

punishes him by killing 70,000 of his people. 
Sc. 9 — David, on his death-bed, ordering Solomon to assassinate his 

trusted general, Joab, and also Shimei. 
Sc. 10 — Grand tableau of the spirits of the hundreds of thousands of 

men, women and children slaughtered by David in his wars 

and piratical raids. 

Plays like this would no doubt tend to vastly improve the morality of 
the people, while increasing their reverence for the " sacred " character ^ 
of the Holy Bible. ^ 

We have referred recently to the spread of 
DECLINE OF Methodism in Toronto ; but it seems that, while 

ECCLESIASTICISM new churches are being built in new districts, in 
IN JAPAN. the older sections there has been a perceptible 

decline in religious fervor. In several cases the 
greatest difficulty has been experienced in keeping church properties out 
of the hands of the mortgagee and the real estate dealer, the sale of 
the big McCaul Street Methodist Church has been openly canvassed for 
some time past, and the negro Methodist Church on Queen Street has 
for some years been advertised for sale. 

The fact would seem to be, that while in the older districts the growth 
of theatres, concert and lecture-halls, military and business organiza- 
tions, and social, political and sporting clubs of all sorts, discount to a 
large degree the value of the church as a social centre ; in the newer 
sections these agencies are largely wanting. The prestige of the church 
and its seldom-disputed claim to respectability and to being a promoter 
of morality, give it the first call on the purses of the wealthier persons 
in the new communities, who feel the need of some social centre to 



+ 



^66 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

relieve the monotony of suburban life ; and a " handsome new church," 
with a handsome young parson, is the natural outcome. 

As the new communities grow and consolidate, the theatre, the club, 
and the concert-hall will no doubt take their legitimate place as the chief 
means of social enjoyment. 

A similar evolution seems under way in Japan. Under the terrible 
strain of its great war, it is easy to understand that the people will not 
be able to support either religious or other organizations as liberally as 
they did formerly, and it need not surprise us to hear, from the Bangkok 
Times, that the magnificent temple of the Higashi Hongkanji, at Tokio, 
is to be sold by auction, the priests, under the leadership of their Lord 
Abbot, Count Otani, not being able to pa}^ even the interest on the debts 
of the temple. It owes 530,000 yen to the Kitahama Ginko, so that it 
owes about four times as much, at least, as the Broadway Tabernacle in 
Toronto, and nearly as much as the big St. James's Church, Montreal, 
did a year or two ago. 

A chain will break at its weakest place, we are told ; and, though the 
superstitions of religion have still a strong hold upon the masses of the 
people, we cannot but regard hopefully these signs that religion is the 
weak point in the philosophy of those who have hitherto supported the 
church with their wealth and influence. 

A Roman letter in a French paper tells us that 
ITALIAN BISHOP Monsignor Bonomelli, bishop of Cremona, a man 
DENOUNCES of very broad and liberal views, recently pub- 

PAPAL METHODS. lished a letter which has aroused mush angry 

comment from the more orthodox sections of the 
Italian clergy. He protests against the exaggerated adoration rendered 
to the Virgin Mary by his countrymen, who forget in these devotions the 
worship due to God ; and he denounces those who take advantage of the 
piety of the people to serve- their own financial interests. The Vatican 
has called upon the Bishop for some explanation of his conduct, and has 
ordered him for the future to confine his activities to the affairs of his 
diocess. 

Of course, the subtle intellect of a bishop can see the justification for 
giving precedence in worship to the Son instead of to the Mother, but 
for us there seems at least as good reason for worshiping St. Anne, the 
Grandmother. Still, if the question is discussed, possibly some new light 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 267 

may be thrown upon it, especially if a Great Grandmother should be 
discovered, which seems not improbable, as St. Anne must have had a 
mother — and possibly a father also, unless miraculously conceived, like 
her grandson. 

Mr. Bonomelli deserves the thanks of his fellow-countrymen, as well 
as of all opponents of the rapacious priesthood, for protesting against 
the hypocrisy and greed of the church. 

Xlbe IRew Moman. 

:o: 

An incident of Easter week was the defeat in the Senate at Albany, on 
Wednesday, of the latest efifoit to extend the suffrage to women The extension, 
proposed in a bill introduced by Senator Raines, was limited to voting on tax 
questions in twelve small cities only, but it was treated as an entering wedge for 
woman suffrage generally. 

A few days before, Mr. Cleveland had written of the " movement which has 
been for a long time on foot for securing to women the right to vote and other- 
wise participate in public affairs " as "an unfortunate manifestation of feminine 
restlessness and discontent." He fears that it will have a "dangerous, under- 
mining effect on the characters of the wives and mothers of our land." Mr' 
McCarren, of Brooklyn, expressed the same alarm in the Senate on Wednesday* 
* Politics," he said, " is no field for pure and modest women "; besides, " there 
are men enough to take care of p litical affairs." He is against giving any vote 
at all to any woman, on the ground that her place is to " preside over the house- 
hold." Senator Raines, however, contended that "as the intelligence of the 
country is being steadily concentrated in the women," they are at least entitled to 
vote on questions of taxation to the very limited extent proposed in his bill^ 
" ' The hand that rocks the cradle,' " quoted Senator Grady," ' rules the world '"; 
but " it rules in the house and not at the polls," he asserted. And that was the 
prevailing opinion of the Senate. 

It is also the prevailing opinion even among women themselves. Feminine 
efforts to secure the suffrage always encounter feminine resistance. The National 
Woman's Suffrage Association is counteracted by a woman's association organ- 
ized in opposition. Accordingly the woman suffragists have uphill work. The 
privilege they ask for as a boon, as a right, their feminine opponents treat as an 
imposition on women. 

Already, however, a very great part of American women are taking and are 
compelled to take an interest in affairs beyond their home. Of nearly thirty 
millions of the population of this country engaged in gainful occupations in 1900, 
more than a sixth was feminine ; and of these feminine workers only about a 
third were in distinctively household employments, domestic service and the like. 



268 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



Between 1890 and 1900 these feminine workers increased at a much greater ratio 
than the population as a whole. In almost every employment outside of the 
home women are now engaged. They form a great part of the crowds which 
pour forth at nightfall from every business district. 

Moreover, the escape of women from domestic seclusion extends far beyond 
the ranks of the workers for a living. Women of fashion have become public 
personages. Women are organized for many public purposes. " Neighborhood 
clubs " of women have been started in New York recently for the discussion of 
such matters, and the women in them are not of the kind who neglect their 
special feminine duties at home. In the charitable machinery of a New York 
church parish women are engaged more actively and earnestly than men. They 
preside at meetings and make speeches. The parly which recently went from 
here to participate in the Conference for Education in the South, contained 
many women. On the same day that the Senate rejected limited woman suffrage 
a woman of the more select social sphere of New York read a paper on " Woman's 
Work for Municipal Progress " at the meeting of a league for the study of muni- 
cipal problems generally. In many societies dealing with public questions and 
for public purposes assiduous mothers are now engaged as chief officers. The 
colleges for women are crowded with applicants far beyond the accommo- 
dations they have for students. 

Has the feminine character suffered deterioration as a consequence of all this ? 
Is " the home " impaired ? For one thing, the popularity of matrimony at least 
has not diminished. Never was there an Easter season when marriages were so 
many as they are now. Men seem to fall in love with the " new woman " not 
less than they did with the old. Physically the new woman is indubitably better 
than the old. She is taller and stronger and in every way is increasing in 
attractiveness 

So far, then, there seems to be no reason for alarm lest " the saving grace of 
simple and unadulterated womanhood " shall be lost and for fear that the broader 
life of women will have an ' undermining effect on the character of the wives 
and mothers of our land." Even if the " movement " on which Mr. Cleveland 
looks with so much misgiving should go to the extreme of complete woman 
suffrage, that dreadful consequence would not come. So long as the human race 
exists " the saving grace of simple and unadulterated womanhood" will be pre- 
served — will be Fafe against any movements, of man or woman either, which may 
be made. Romance will always remain and woman will be its high priestess. — 
.Y. Y.Sun, April 28Lh, '05. 



If I proceed to treat of theology, I shall step out of the bark of human reason 
and enter into the ship of the church. Neither will the stars of philosophy, which 
have hitherto so nobly shone on us, any longer give us their light. — Bacon. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 269 



Hn 1&Ier'0 t\otce. 



:o: 



CHRISTIAN SCIENCE. 

Four unfortunate Christian Scientists are awaiting sentence on June 30th as the 
aftermath of the death uf Wallace Goodfellow Sad and pathetic was the tragedy 
of poor Wallace Goodfellow's life as revealed at the trial. His improvident 
marriage with his girl-wife ; the unfortunate estrangement between his wife and 
his mother ; his heroic struggle under adverse conditions, and his untimely 
death within two short months after his marriage, evoke a deep feeling of regret 
for the fantastic folly which cost him his life. Wallace Goodfellow— weakened 
by overwork, poisoned by the typhoid bacillus, dying unnourished and unnursed, 
whilst the well-meaning but foolish votaries of Christian Science practised the 
incantations of Mrs. Eddy at his bedside and kept at bay his young wife and the 
physician — is surely as tragic a figure as ever dramatist drew. Surely such a 
sacrifice should wake our people from delusions and dreams. 

Amongst the witnesses called at the trial was Mrs. Stewart, the head of the 
Christian Scientists in Toronto. From the lady's appearance one would conclude 
that her idea of a dinnei was more substantial than thoughts of lamb and green 
peas. She answered the court and counsel in a jargon scarcely intelligible, yet 
her examination elicited some interesting facts. Mrs. Eddy's book sells at from 
$3 to $6 a copy. It has gone through one hundred and thirty editions, and is 
therefore from a financial standpoint the most prominent literary venture in the 
world. In Toronto three hundred and fifty neophytes have been initiated into 
the proper incantations with which to charm disease. These pay at least $100 
each for instruction. In Canada and the United States these must amount to 
hundreds of thousands. Mrs. Eddy must have made several million dollars. 
The charge for treatment is $1 a visit, or a prayer if absent treatment is given. 
Who can make a dollar more easily than by sitting in an arm chair and muttering 
a prayer ? It requires neither knowledge nor brains. Any body can mutter a 
prayer. It is easy to see why she should have a number of enthusiastic apostles. 

It is a very shrewd appeal to the most sordid elements of human nature. The 
student is appalled at the gigantic growth of this cult. Despite our boasted 
education, our growth in knowledge, our splendid triumphs of science, are the 
bulk of the people of the twentieth century any less ignorant or less superstitious 
than those of the first? How many Wallace Goodfellows have been sacrificed 
that this unscrupulous woman may lie soft and fare daintily ? On whom does 
the responsibility for this mighty wrong to the human race rest ? From the field 
so industriously ploughed every Sunday by the clergy and harrowed and top- 
dressed by the revivalists, Mrs. Eddy has reaped the crop. The shrewd adven- 
turess rises almost to tragic dignity as the Frau Kenstein of the Church. 

Idler. 



270 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



IFf 1 Mere ®nl? Satan. 

:o: 

BY DR. T. WILKINS. 

Ik I were only Satan and I had my hell repaired, 
I'd come for all oppressors who from brimstone had been spared. 
I would melt the callous conscience of each hoggish man of earth, 
And the human beast would languish in my very hottest berth. 

Oh, if I were only Satan, do you know what I would do ? 

I'd stand upon the Universe and claim the Devil's due. 

I'd make the millionaires of earth in humbleness to bow 

Unto the men whom they have robbed, and make amends right now. 

If I were only Satan for a century or more, 

I would get some satisfaction that would tickle to the core. 

I would decorate my palace to the fulness of my mind, 

With the sparkling little jewels, and the gold that's left behind. 

If I were only Satan, I would loiter at the gate, 

With a woe-begone expression and a contribution plate. 

And I'd ask a small percentage for safe-keeping for the throng 

All their diamonds and their morals that they could not toke along. 

If I were only Satan, I would venture to explore 

All the regions of St. Peter for discarded things in store ; 

'For the useless things once hoarded through a selfish little pride, 

That were burdens to rhe spirit and were sadly laid aside. 

If I were- only Satan and could have his mighty pull, 
I would fill each nook and corner of my roasting places full 
With the people who are stealing from and starving brothers here, 
-And I'd have my imps all dancing in the merriest of cheer. 

If I were only Satan and accredited the same. 
With the progress and inventions of the earth, I'd take the blame, 
And give thanks unto the churches for old superstition's scheme, 
Which has ever made him honored with a power all supreme. 

If I were only Satan I should be so mighty proud. 

To be a mighty leader of the one successful crowd. 

Of the men who gained the battles of the earth in earthly things. 

O'er the people who were ever in the act of sprouting wings. 

If I were only Satan, with his cunning and renown, 
I would make some more tornadoes that would tear the churches down, 
And I'd have the stones all gathered and built into one large home. 
For the poor, the weak, the needy, who now shelterless must roam. 

If I were only Satan, with this earth once all my own, 
I would make the well-fed hungry and then throw to them a stone. 
I would feed the starving masses from the cupboards that are fu^I, 
. If I were only Satan and had Satan's mighty pull. 

— Progressive Thinker. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 271 

Japan's /IDo^est^. 

:o: 

The moderation with which the Japanese press have treated their success from 
the very first blow, is in marked contrast to the boastful way in which the press 
of victorious nations have too frequently treated less good fortune. The papers 
are full of gratitude to ttieir ally, England, whose influence they feel has been the 
means of keeping off a combination of Powers. 

The jftji says if Japan conducted her case with'excessive patience in her anti- 
bellum negotiations with Russia, it was not only because they were afraid that 
war would inevitably more or less injurionsly affect the interests of the other 
Powers, but especially because they knew that the peace of the Far East, once 
broken, the course of events might take such a turn as might involve their ally in 
hostilities. 

Yet to allow Russia to go on with her policy of unbridled aggression would 
have been suicidal to Japan, and in self-defence they had to finally draw the 
sword. But even before they arrived at that resolution it is admitted that they 
would have had to think twice, had it not been for their conviction that, come 
what might, England would remain true to her pledge of alliance. To have 
Russia alone for her foe was one thing, but to have to face a conspiracy of 
Powers was another. What precluded this anticipation from the pale of possi- 
bility was the existence of the Anglo-Japanese alliance, with England's certainty 
to stand by it, an attitude which has found its expression " in the most enthusi- 
astic and whole-hearted manner with which her people — public bodies as well as 
individuals — have backed us up with their moral support in our mighty struggles. 
For all this our indebtedness toward our ally is tremendously great ; because 
great as are the illustrious virtues of our Emperor, and the astonishing capabilities 
of our soldiers and sailors, we cannot deny that that moral support has formed 
for us a force that has largely assisted us in carrying on the campaign, unflinchingly 
and unmolested in the face of many a menacing glance of the onlookers. Now 
that the war has rounded a great turning stage with honor and glory to us, the 
yiji thinks the present a most fitting moment to put on record the most profound 
feeling of gratitude we entertain towards our ally." 

These and similar expressions in other papers show that Japan is as calm^ 
sensible, and as free from that complaint described as '* swelled head " since she 
has been winning victories which amazed the whole world, as she was when she 
was quietly but firmly warning Russia to stand back. It is not every one who 
flushed wiih success, would attribute that success so largely to the one who had 
promised to stand by and see fair play. Indeed, Japan is a wonderful little 
empire, and is teaching Occidental civilization many things as well as how to 
run a military and naval campaign. — Montreal Star^ 



272 SECULAK THOUGHT. 

Spontaneous (Beneration^ 

:o: 

BY GEORGE ALLEN WHITE. 

:o: 

III. (Concluded). 
Anyone who is favorably disposed toward science is relentlessly forced, either 
to exclude God at least from all things since " the beginning," or to bring him 
in the active explanation of almost innumerable phenomena, many of them much 
more awe-inspiring than the inception of life, that are to be witnessed all around 
us daily. And even though God be used to explain life, the old difficulty of 
accounting for his origin remains. Who created him ? In any inquiry that will 
not stay down. The usual orthodox argument, that complication, as found in 
the universe, requires a greater complication called God, to make the matter 
clear, explains nothing. If that simple, self-sufficient, inferior complication of 
the Atheist, called the universe, needs something explanatory beyond it, what 
shall be said of the self-created, compound, superior complication called God ? 
Of the two complications, which is the harder to simplify ? 

Thus we see that God is constantly getting into hot water ; that his position is 
a trying one; that his days appear to be about over; that he has ceased to 
meddle in the affairs of men ; that his constitution is giving way. May he rest 
forever in dreamless peace deep down beneath the ruins of the faith that gave 
him life. 

Herbert Spencer says (" Progress : Its Law and Cause," ch. iv.) : 

*' Those who cavalierly reject the theory of evolution, as not adequately sup- 
ported by facts, seem quite to forget that their own theory is supported by no 
facts at all. Like the majority of men who are born to a given belief, they 
demand the most rigorous proof of any adverse belief, but assume that their own 
needs none 

" This is one of the many cases in which men do not really believe, but rather 
think they believe. It is not that they can conceive ten million of special 
creations to have taken place, but that they think they can do so. Careful intro- 
spection will show them that they have never yet realized to themselves the 
creation of even one species. If they have formed a definite conception of the 
process, let them tell us how a new species is constructed, and how it makes its 
appearance. Is it thrown down from the clouds ? or must we hold to the notion 
that it struggles up out of the ground ? Do its limbs and viscera rush together 
from all points of the compass? or must we receive the old Hebrew idea that 
God takes clay and moulds a new creature ? If they say that a new creature is 
produced in none of these modes, which are too absurd to be believed, then they 
are requested to describe the mode in which a new creature may be produced — 
a mode which does not seem absurd ; and such a mode they will find that they 
^neither have conceived nor can conceive. 

" Should the believers in special creations consider it unfair thus to call upon 
them to describe how special creations take place, I reply, that this is far less 
than they demand from the supporters of the development hypothesis. They are 



m 

not 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 273 

lerely asked to point out a conceivable mode. On the other hand, they ask 
lOt simply for a conceivable mode, but for the actualmodc. They do not say, 
Show us how this may take place ; ' but they say, ' Show us how this does take 
place.' So far from ii> being unreasonable to put the above question, it would 
be reasonable to ask, n i only for a possible mode of special creation, but for an 
ascertained mode ; seeing that this is no greater a demand than they make upon 
their opponents. 

" And here we may perceive how much more defensible the new doctrine is 
than the old one." 

John Tyndall says in his " Belfast Address " ; 

'* Abandoning all disguise, the confession that I feel bound to make before 
you is that I prolong the vision backward across the boundary of the experimental 
evidence, and discern in that matter, which we in our ignorance, and notwith- 
standing our professed reverence for its Creator, have hitherto covered with op- 
probrium, the promise and potency of every form and quality of life." 

Thomas H. Huxley says in his "Critiques and Adresses " : 

" Looking back through the prodigious vista of the past I find no record of 
the commencement of life, and therefore I am devoid of any means of forming a 
definite conclusion as to ihe conditions of its appearance. Belief, in the scientific 
sense of the word, is a serious matter, and needs strong foundations. To say, 
therefore, in the admitted absence of evidence, that I have any belief as to the 
mode in which the existing forms of life have originated, would be using words 
in a wrong sense. But expectation is permissible where belief is not, and if it 
were given me to look beyond the abyss of geologically recorded time to the still 
more remote period when the earth was passing through physical and chemical 
conditions, which it can no more see again than a man may recall his infancy, I 
should expect to be a witness of the evolution of living protoplasm from not- 
living matter. I should expect to see it appear under forms of great simplicity, 
endowed, like existing fungi, with the power of determining the foundation of 
new protoplasm from such matters as ammonium carbonates, oxalates and 
tartrates, alkaline and earthy phosphates, and water, without the aid of light." 

Ernst Haeckel says in his " Natural History of Creation," in speaking of 
monera, that " they originated about the beginning of the Laurentian period, by 
archebiosis or spontaneous generation, from so-called inorganic compounds of 
carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen." And in the Munich Address he 
declares that " the Monera, consisting of protoplasm only, bridge over the deep 
chasm between organic and inorganic nature, and show us how the simplest and 
oldest organisms must have originated from inorganic carbon compounds." 

Grant Allen says, in "The Progress of Science from 1836 to 1886 " : 

" Life thus falls into its proper place in the scheme of things as due essentially 
to the secondary action of radiated solar energy, intercepted on the moist, outer 
crust of a cooling and evolving planet. Its various forms have been gradually 
produced, mainly by the action of natural selection or survival of the fittest on 
the immense number of separate individuals ejected from time to time by pre- 
existing organisms. How the first organisms came to exist at all we can as yet 



274 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

only conjecture ; to feeble and unimaginative minds the difficulty of such a con- 
jecture seems grossly exaggerated." 

Edward Clodd says ("The Story of Creation," ch. vii.) : 

"Chemistry also reveals intimate likeness of materials in the compounds 
known as isomeric, in which the physical and chemical properties vary consider- 
ably. It has also manufactured organic compounds, as starch, urea, and 
alcohol, the production of which was once thought impossible ; and if the 
experiments to produce the living out of the non-living by decoctions of hay and 
extracts of beef have failed, as we might expect they would, this failure can have 
no weight against the argument that we cannot think any limit to the possibilities 
of nature's subtile transmutations during the vast periods that the earth has been 
a possible abode of life. And is not the transmutation of the inorganic into the 
organic ceaselessly going on within the laboratory of the plant under the agency 
of chlorophyle ? " 

W. H. Mallock says, in the Nineteenth Century for March, 1869 : 

" The interval between mud and mind, seemingly so impassable, has been 
traversed by a series of closely consecutive steps. Mind, which was once 
thought to have descended into matter, is shown forming itself and slowly 
emerging out of it. From forms of life so low that naturalists can hard y decide 
whether it is right to class them as plants or animals, up to the life that is mani- 
fested in saints, heroes, or philanthropists, there is no break to be detected in 
the long process of development. There is no step in the process in which science 
finds any excuse for postulating, or even suspecting the presence of any new 
factor." 

Samuel Laing says, in " Modern Science and Modern Thought," after 
enumerating various reasons why special creation is impossible : " These are the 
sort of difficulties which have led the scientific world, I may say universally, to 
abandon the idea of separate special creations, and to substitute for it that which 
has been proved to be true of the whole inorganic world of stars, suns, planets, 
and all forms of matter : the idea of an original creation (whatever creation may 
mean and behind which we cannot go) of ultimate atoms or germs, so perfect 
that they carried within them all the phenomena of the universe by a necessary 
process of evolution." By "original creation " he means the original mystery of 
matter. 

Nelson C. Parshall says in his pamphlet, " Proofs of Evolution " : 

" It would seem that Evolution cannot fairly stop at this little atom of carbon 
compound Is it afraid or powerless to take the mystic step between the living 
and the non-living ? Did Evolution operate all the way from ' star-dust ' down 
to this little speck and then cease to operate? Could it make worlds, suns, and 
systems, and yet prove insufficient at this vital point ? " 

Moleschott says, in his " Circulation : " 

" The assumption of a special vital force is proved to be quite useless. Life 
is merely the outcome of the elaborate co-operation and reciprocal action of 
chemical and physical forces." 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 275 

Newman Smyth says, in " Through Science to Faith " : 

"While the fact is now universally admitted that non-livmg matter cannot now 
be organized into a living form except through the prior agency of life, on the 
other hand the momertum of all our scientific knowledge of the continuities of 
nature leads modern biology to the assumption that the organic substance at 
some time has been rased and quickened from the deadness of the inorganic 
world." 

Buchner says, in his essay on " Materialism : A Rejoinder " : 

" They [religionists] reject spontaneous generation because they have not yet 
had experimental proof of it ; although no philosophic scientist can raise the 
slightest doubt that it once took place, and may possibly be taking place to-day." 

The Springfield (Mass ) Republican summarizes the evidence by declaring 
that " direct creation could never have taken place at any age." 



Mbat is Called *' ifiSustness /IDoralttp/' 

:o: 

BY B. F. UNDERWOOD. 

:o: 

Rev. John Hut chins, Congregationalist minister at Litchfield, Conn., recently 
wrote a letter to the New York Tribune giving the impressions which he had 
received as to the character of John D. Rockefeller during a week's close contact 
with the oil magnate in his family, in a small mountain resort. The minister 
describes the conduct and spirit of Rockefeller as those of a " sincere Christian 
man." He says that he makes no attempt to reconcile the millionaire's private 
life with his larger public dealings, but he simply bears " witness to the lasting 
impression ofChristian character and sincerity which that intercourse made upon 
me." 

The Springfield Republican, in trying to explain how a man of irreproachable 
personal character, can be guilty of such rapacious and heartless methods as 
those by which Rockefeller built up his vast fortune, says that the morality of 
business and the morality of private life, as enjoined by moral and religious 
precepts, are quite different. This is doubtless true. Business morality allows 
a man to make money by any means within the pale of the law. Pity or sym- 
pathy does not enter into it as an element. The business man, in difficulty or 
doubt, calls upon the shrewd lawyer, not upon the moralist, for advice, for he 
w.inls an adviser who is familiar with all the sinuosities and loopholes of the 
criminal code. Corporations feel justified in doing whatever is not positively 
forbidden by the law, and what is forbidden even is allowable, if it is not 
discovered. 

Rockefeller, a man of unusual ability in getting the advantage of his com- 
petitors, and without scruples in so doing, secured discriminations from the 



^76 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



railroads and established his business as a monopoly and amassed the largest 
fortune in the world. To thousands the result was bankruptcy, wreckage and 
wretchedness. It is difficult to see how a man of fine moral sensibilities and 
humane sympathies could have done this. It is difficult to understand how a 
man can continue in business by such methods without becoming morally callous 
and indifferent to the misfortune of his fellow beings. He may say " business 
is business," but that very remark means that one may take all he can get legally 
and that the moral or humane side of a transaction is not to be considered. 
Evidently these business methods arc more injurious in their effect on character 
than are most of those immoralities which everybody is ready to denounce. 

The results of these methods as used by Rockefeller, make him a personifica- 
tion of their injustice. Thousands of others use the same or similar methods 
when they can, but he has been the most predatory and the most successful in 
overcoming competition and naturally he is the most conspicuous and the most 
disliked of those who have gained their riches by crushing out their rivals and 
monopolizing the market. 

But it is the business system — a system that systematically ignores the higher 
moral side of life, which is most open to condemnation. Of that system 
Rockefeller is one of the products. It means spoliation of the masses for the 
enrichment of individuals, corporations and classes to the extent that this can be 
done legally, or by artful and safe evasion of the law. This business system 
seeks to influence in its interests legislatures, courts, institutions of learning and 
even the pulpits, and it tries to make the common people believe, while they are 
the victims of colossal greed organized into virtual conspiracies against the public, 
that all this is for their benefit and in the line of progress and that those who 
oppose it are demagogues who try to incite discontent among the people and to 
make the poor hate the rich. 

A campaign of education along this line is much needed. 



f reetbouQbt flDarti?r&om* 

:o: 

BY CHARLES WATTS. 

:o: 



Professors of Christianity are continually boasting of the martyrs to their faith,' 
and of the proof which they allege such personal sacrifice affords of the truth of", 
their religion. It is, however, a mistake to suppose that martyrdom proves, 
anything beyond the sincerity of the martyrs. Probably there is no superstition, 
even of the lowest form, which has not had its martyrs. If suffering, and even 
dying, for a cause is evidence of its truth and justice, then Freethought can 
fairly claim these desirable virtues. In fact, Freethought is the very essence ofi 
true martyrdom, which really means the consequences of the vindication of 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 277 

personal thought against the many prevalent superstitions and traditional beliefs. 
The history of Freethought presents to our view a muster-roll of names that are 
an honor to the Pantheon of the world's freedom — such martyrs as Hypatia, 
Bruno, Vanini, Rog r Bacon, Descartes, Galileo, Tindal, Hobbes, Spinoza, 
Bolingbroke, Collins, Kepler, Volney, Priestley, Voltaire, Paine, Paterson, 
Southwell, Carlile, and a host of other brave men and women, who devoted their 
lives to the vindication of intellectual liberty. In Greece the heroic Socrates 
fought for his freedom despite the darts of ridicule, the pangs of exile, and the 
effects of hemlock. These martyrs were the real redeemers of humanity ; they 
were all stars in the firmament of thought, and to their efforts we are indebted 
for much of the force we are able to exert to-day in consolidating the freedom 
they won and in extending the liberties they bequeathed to posterity. 

Perhaps it may be right to here explain what is meant by the term Freethought. 
It does not signify, as the Rev. Charles Kingsley alleged, " loose thinking " • 
neither does it teach that thought is independent of conditions ; hence it is 
opposed to what is termed the doctrine of Freewill. A Freethinker is one who 
claims the right to think according to the evidence presented to his mind, without 
having to endure social ostracism in this world, or being threatened with 
punishment in another one. With the Freethinker no topic is too sacred to be 
discussed, and no opinion is too extreme to be proclaimed, provided it has been 
arrived at by legitimate and cautious reasoning. He believes, as has been well 
remarked (I forget by whom), that all "opinions are to be examined if we will 
make way for truth, and put our minds in that freedom which belongs, and is 
necessary, to them. A mistake is not the less so, and will never grow into the 
truth, because we have believed it for a long time, though perhaps it is the 
harder to part with ; and an error is not the less dangerous because it is cried up 
and held in veneration by any party." A Freethinker deems that man's duty is 
to use such faculties as he finds himself possessed of in an honest and earnest 
endeavor to learn the truth upon all subjects that fall within the scope of his 
observation. To pass carelessly over any field where he thinks some few grains 
of truth might be discovered he holds to be a crime against his own intellectual 
nature and against society ; and to shrink from the investigation of any subject 
by the supposed sacredness of its character, or through the fulminations of men 
who have an interest in preventing free inquiry, he maintains to be sheer 
cowardice, of which no true man would be guilty. 

It should, moreover, be remembered that Freethought, when properly under- 
ood, does not consist in a form of belief, nor in a code of unbelief, but in the 
light to think, and to give expression to his thoughts, without any kind of 
persecution following as the result. But it must not be supposed that, because 
a man is a Freethinker, he is indifferent to truth, and holds that all opinions are 
alike unimportant. On the contrary, he will be found contending as earnestly 



278 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

and as energetically for his views as any class of men, and will work as hard to 
promulgate what he believes to be true as the most enthusiastic religionist. But, 
having done that, he concedes to others the right which he claims for himself. 
Unfortunately, men and women whose honor and good taste could not be called 
in question have often been excluded from social and domestic gatherings simply 
on account of their Freethought principles. For the same reason, the services of 
hterary men have been declined in quarters where, had they professed the popular 
religious faith, their literary productions would have commanded ready acceptance. 
This exclusive policy, the outcome of sectarian prejudices, is not only petty 
persecution, it is unjust and detrimental to the progress of society, inasmuch as 
it tends to deprive the commonwealth of the services of some of the most useful 
and earnest workers for the public good. 

There is, it should be observed, a difference between Freethought martyrdom 
and theological martyrdom. The Christian martyr had not only the prestige of 
fashion and the sanctions of popular belief to support him in his suffering, but 
he had — that is, he fancies he had — the assurance that the death of the martyr is 
the birth of a " glorious immortality." He is taught that this world is " a vale of 
tears," a probationary state preparatory to something superior in " a world to 
come "; "for our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far 
more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." If this is really so, to go to " the 
better land " should be "a consummation devoutly to be wished." Experience, 
however, proves that, despite the Christian's belief in this happy change, he is in 
general extremely anxious to delay the transformation ; to him, indeed, *' distance 
lends enchantment to the view." The case is very different with the majority of 
Freethinkers. They have to suffer for conscience sake in the cold shade of 
opposition, exposed to the misrepresentation of the bigot and to the active 
persecution of a prejudiced orthodoxy, without the consoling reflections furnished 
by faith in compensation hereafter. Buoyed up by the knowledge that his self- 
denial is undertaken for the benefit of his fellow creatures on earth, the Free- 
thought martyr evinces a fortitude prompted by an unselfish nature that cannot 
fairly be clai^ned by the martyr of the Church. In so far it must be conceded 
that the Freethought martyrdom is the nobler of the two. 

Among other beneficent results accruing from the devotion of the martyrs of 
Freethought, we may place the following : The minimizing of the once-domi- 
neering power of ecclesiasticism, the relaxation of various theological dogmas, the 
purification of religion, and the general discrediting of priestcraft in the minds of 
thoughtful men. The chief and most glorious results, however, have been those 
achieved in the emancipation of individual thought and reason from the thraldom 
of theological faith, and in the active fields of ethics, science, and politics. The 
services of these Freethought martyrs demonstrated the folly of supposing that 
the measure of one age should necessarily be the standard of all succeeding ones- 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 



279 



Thus another barrier to progress was broken down, and the principle was 
established that as time rolls on, as man's requirements increase, and as human 
thoughts expand, an enlarged and more effectual test of action will become 
indispensable. The arbitrators of conduct in the past were theological decrees 
and priestly dictation ; to-day the governing principles of our deeds are reason 
and utility. Herein lies the justification of Freethought martyrdom, and herein 
are manifested the excellent fruits of its endurance. 



MISCELLANEOUS 



ADOLPH BASTIAN v. DR. A. C DIXON. 



THE STANDARD OF ETHICS IS 
NOT ABSOLUTE, BUT 
RELVITVE. 
'• A striking instance of the one- 
sidedness of our view of the world is 
the stubbornness with which we insist 
that our principles, our sacred truth, 
must prevail among men everywhere 
and are in the very nature of man as 
such. An arrogant and egotistic pride 
has long misled the European into re- 
garding himself as the ideal of humanity, 
and into looking down upon all other 
times and condemning every race that 
ventured to derive other views from its 
social experience. He does not think 
of the broad continents which cover 
the rest of the globe, where unnumbered 
nations have developed their indepen- 
dent civilizations : he does not recall 
the many brilliant epochs of history that 



UNBELIEF THE GREATEST 
SIN. 

" Unbelief is one of the greatest 
sins. I think the qualities of lying, 
murder and theft are contained in un- 
belief. Murder is generally done in 
hot blood and anger, but unbelief has 
no such extenuating circumstances." — 
Dr. a. C. Dixon, before Bible Con- 
ference, Atlanta, Mch. 22, '05, as re- 
ported in News. 



rose and passed away before ever a ray 
of the light of civilization had pierced 
the barbarism of his forests. The ma- 
jority of educated people do not look 
beyond their own horizon." — Adolph 
Bastian, as quoted in the Open Court. 



NEW PLAY AT OBERAMMERGAU.— The villagers of Oberammergau 
are practising for the beginning of a new play, the first performance of which will 
be given on June 4, and to be repeated every Sunday until September. The new 
play is named "The School of the Cross," and will be filled with scenes from the 
life of David, which the Oberammergau folks, we are told, — like many other 
Christians— think were " the phototypes of the greater scenes in the life of 
Christ " The new play is to be staged with the dresses last used in the Passion 
Play of 1900, the last performance of the Oberammergau rustics. The perfor 
mance is to be given in memory of the late King Ludwig, of Bavaria I 

I TWO SOUL-SAVERS EQUAL ONE MAN.— Some years ago the Japs 
listed a colony of watchmakers in America, and transported them to the Sun. 



280 SECULAB THOUGHT. 



rise Empire, to found a watch factory. To economize the cost of travel the 
whole party was entered as missionaries on their way to Japan, by which device, 
a member of the party reports, the trip was made at half price. In a year the 
natives had acquired the art, and the '* missionaries " were returned to America. 
Missionaries and reverends, two of which are equal to one layman, are greatly 
favored when in transit, being virtually classed with eight-year-old children, and 
this because they are supposed to be soul-savers. It is wished all of them were 
worthy of their vocation, but it is apprehended many have the frailties of common 
mortals. — Progressive Thinker. 



PERSIAN ANECDOTES.— A Persian student, writing in the St. James 
Gazette^ tells these stories, which he says he found buried in an old Persian book : 

A certain king asked an astrologer, " How many years of life remain to me ? '' 
The wise man replied, " Ten." The king became very despondent, and betook 
himself, as one stricken with a sickness, to his bed. His vizier, who possessed 
great wisdom, sent for the seer, and in the king's presence asked him, '' How 
many years have you to live?" He replied, "Twenty." The vizier ordered 
that he should that very hour be executed in the king's presence. The king was 
satisfied and commended the sagacity of his minister, and no longer attached 
any importance to the astrologer's saying. 

One day a certain tyrannical king came alone without the city walls and saw 
a man sitting under a tree. The king asked, " The ruler of this kingdom— is he 
^ tyrant or a just man ? " The stranger replied, " A very great tyrant." The king 
said to the stranger, " Do you know me ? " He said, " No." " I am the sultan 
0/ this kingdom," the monarch replied. The man was overcome with fear and 
asked, *• Do you know rae?" The. king said, "No." He replied, " I am the 
son of a merchant, and every month I suffer three days' madness. This unfor- 
tunately happens to be the day before the three days." The king laugl^ed and 
** and had nothing at all further to say." 

One day a certain man said to himself, " Everything in the earth and in the 
heavens exists for me. For me many great things has God created." In the 
middle of his soliloquy a gnat settled on his nose and said, " So much pride in 
thee is not fitting in that thou shouldst imagine that all things in the earth and 
skies are created for thee. Rather art thou created for me. Dost thou not 
recognize that thou art only the instrument of my uplifting ? " 

The Sultan, Alexander the Great (the Two-Horned), upon a certain occasion 
passed by a madman and said, " Oh, madman, for some mark of my favor 
express thou a wish." He replied, " The fiies trouble me ; speak that they do so 
no more." The monarch said, *' Oh, madman, make thy i)etition something 
which it is in my power to command." The madman said, " If thou canst not 
•control a fiy, what petition shall I make ? " 



'Tis weary watching wave by wave, 

And yet the tide heaves onward ; 
We climb, like corals, grave by grave, 

That pave a pathway sunward ; 
We are driven back, for our next fray 

A newer strength to borrow, 
And where tke Vanguard camps to-day 

The Rear shall rest to-morrow ! 

— Gerald Mcssey. 



SEC ULAE THOUGHT 

A Fortnightly Journal of Rational Criticism in 
Politics, Science, and Religion. 



J. S. ELLIS, Editor. 


NEW SERIES. 




C. n. ELLIS, Bus. Mgr. 


Vol. XXXI. No. lo. 


TORONTO, JUNE 15, 


1905. 


loc; $2 per ann. 



^be letbical ZcachirxQ ot Socratee* 



-:o: 



** No MAN ERRS OF HIS OWN FREE WILL." These few words 

embody the kernel of Socratism This short sentence is a 

terse expression of the conviction that eve?y moral deficiency 
has its origin in the intellect^ and depends upon a vagary of 
the undei'standing. In other words — he who knows what is 
right does what is right : want of insight is the one and only 
source of moral shortcoming. In view of this doctrine, we 
readily comprehend how Socrates was bound to put an infinite 
value on clearness of conception. It is more difficult to see 
how this inordinately high estimate of the intellect, and of its 
supreme significance for the conduct of life, came to be formed 
in the mind of Socrates. Certainly the endeavor to replace 
hazy ideas and dim conjecture by sharply-outlined concepts 
and clear comprehension was a leading characteristic of the 
whole of that age which we have referred to as the Age of 
Enlightenment. The zeal of that age in the culture oi the 
intellect, and its employment in the elucidation of the chief 
problems both of corporate and of individual life, the earnest 
endeavor to replace tradition by self-won knowledge, blind faith 
by illuminated thought — all these tendencies have been re- 
viewed by us repeatedly and in their most characteristic mani- 
festations But the intellectualism, as we have termed it, of 

that age culminates in Socrates. Before his time, it had been 
held that the will, equally with the intellect, needed a schooling, 
which was to be obtained by means of rewards and punish- 
ments, exercise and habituation 

Socrates argues just as if what Aristotle calls ^* the irrational 
part o{ the soul" did not exist. All action is determined by 



282 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

the intellect. And the latter is all-powerful. Such a thing as 
knowing what is right, and yet disobeying that know^ledge, 
believing an action wrong, and yet yielding to the motives that 
impel to it, is for Socrates not merely a sad and disastrous oc- 
currence ; it is a sheer impossibility. He does not combat or 
condemn, he simply denies, that state of mind which his con- 
temporaries called ^^ being overcome by desire," and to w^hich 
the Roman poet gave typical expression in the words,*' Video 
meliora proboque ; deteriora sequor " ("I see and approve the 
better, but follow the worse"). 

Nothing is easier than to detect and to arraign the one- 
sidedness of this point of view. What is much more important 
is to yield full and entire recognition to the element of truth 
contained in the exaggeration, to realize how it was that So- 
crates came to take an important fraction of the truth for the 
whole, and to estimate the magnitude of the service rendered 
to humanity by the great ** one-eyed men" in setting this neg- 
lected part of truth in the most glaring light. 

Although the state of niind w^hose existence is denied by 
Socrates does really occur, its occurrence is a far rarer pheno- 
menon than is generally supposed. That w^hich is overcome 
by passion is often not character or conviction, but a mere 
semblance of such. And want of clearness of thought, con- 
fused conceptions of the grounds as well as of the full scope 
and exact bearing of precepts to which a vague and general 
assent is yielded, — these and other intellectual shortcomings 
go a long way towards accounting for that chasm between 
principles and practice which is the greatest curse of life. 

Where these intellectual deficiencies do not altogether de- 
stroy unity of character, they yet limit its continuance ; and 
it is through them that the most contradictory opposites are 
enabled to lodge peaceably together in the same breast. It is 
such want of clearness and certainty that makes characters 
brittle and paralyzes their powders of resistance, provides an 
easy victory for wrong motives, and often gives a false impres- 
sion that it was the strength of the attack, not the weakness 
of the defence, that brought about the defeat. We ever find 
confusion of thought bringing men to acknowledge simulta- 
neously several supreme standards of judgment which contra- 
dict each other. The resulting anarchy of soul can hardly be 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 283 

expressed better than in the words of a modern French writer 
of comedies, who makes one of his characters say : ** Which 
morality do you mean ? There are thirty-six of them. There 
is a social morality which is not the same as political morality, 
and this again has nothing to do with the morality of religion, 
which, in its turn, has nothing in common with the morality 
of business." 

But, in spite of all this, the assertion that right thinking is 
a guarantee for right acting has a very limited sphere of vali- 
dity. It can be seriously made only when the end of the action 
is unquestioned, and the sole doubt is as to choice of means. 
This is particularly the case where the end is determined by 
the undoubted interest of the agent. A husbandman sowing 
his field, a pilot guiding the helm, an artisan in his workshop, 
must, in the great majority of cases, have their will directed 
to the best possible fulfilment of the task before them. Success 
or failure will for them depend principally on their general 
acumen and their general knowledge. In cases of this type, 
the fundamental principle of Socrates is thus at least approxi- 
mately true. And nothing caused Socrates so much lasting 
astonishment as the perception, which continuously forced itself 
upon him, that in the subordinate departments of life, men 
either possess or strive earnestly for. the possession of clear 
insight into the relations between means and ends, while in 
their higher concerns, in matters closely affecting their weal or 
woe, nothing of the kind is discernible. This contrast made 
the strongest possible impression upon him, and had a decisive 
influence upon the direction of his thought. He saw that in 
all crafts and callings, clearness of intellect puts an end to 
botching and bungling, and he expected the like progress to 
follow as soon as the life of individuals and of the community 
should be illuminated by clear insight and regulated by unam- 
biguous rules of conduct, which latter could be nothing else 
than a system of means conducive to the highest ends. 

** No man errs of his own free will." This utterance has a 
double significance. First, there is the conviction that all the 
numberless shortcomings of actual occurrence originate in 
insufficient development of the understanding. And there is 
a second conviction, lying at the root of the first and condi- 
tioning it, namely, that it is only as to the means, not the end. 



284 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

of actions that disagreement exists among men. Everyone 
without exception is supposed to desire what is good. It is 
not in what they desire that men are distinguished from each 
other, but simply and solely in the measure of their capacity 
for realizing the common object of endeavor — a difference 
which depends entirely on their several degrees of intellectual 
development. 

The solution just obtained suggests another enigma: whence 
comes this moral optimism of our sage ? What was the origin 
of his faith that every moral deficiency arises from error, and 
never from depravity of heart? The primary answer to this 
question is as follows : He held it for an undoubted truth that 
moral goodness and happiness, that moral badness and un- 
happiness, are inseparably united, and that only a delusion 
bordering on blindness could choose the second and reject the 
first. A line of the comic poet Epicharmus, slightly modified, 
was a favorite quotation in Socratic circles — 

" No man willingly is wretched, nor against his will is blest." 

The Greek word here translated ^* wretched " has a two-fold 
meaning, which may be understood from a comparison of the 
two phrases, ** a wretched life," *^a wicked wretch." Such 
ambiguities of language gave this optimistic belief an appear- 
ance of self-evident truth which it certakjly does not possess. 
.... It is not from verbal ambiguities or from lack of nice dis- 
crimination between allied concepts that we expect a new, 
vigorous, and fertile philosophy of life to take its rise. If 
Socrates maintained the identity of virtue and happiness, there 
can be no doubt that he did so firstly and chiefly because he 
had found them identical in his own experience. It is not the 
voice of his countrymen, but the voice of his own inmost 
being, that speaks to us here 

Socrates possessed an ideal — an ideal of calm self-posses- 
sion, of justice, of fearlessness, of independence. He felt 
that he was happy because, and in so far as, he lived up to 
this ideal. He looked on the world around. He found others, 
too, in possession of ideals, but half-hearted withal, lukewarm, 
inconsistent ; and he saw that the effects of these were mani- 
fold deviations from paths once entered upon ; gifted intellects 
and forceful characters failing, through lack of sure guidance, 
to secure for their possessors inward harmony and lasting 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 285 

peace. To be such a plaything of capricious impulses seemed 
to him a*^slavish" condition unworthy of a free man. — Prof. 
Th. Gomferz (^^ Greek Thinkers'), 

EDITORIALS. 

It seems certain that the education clauses in. 
VICTORY FOR the new Autonomy Bills will be carried in spite 

PRIESTCRAFT of all opposition. There has been a tremendous 

IN CANADA. amount of discussion during the past two or 

three months, but little new light has been shed 
upon the subject. The dominating consideration on the Liberal side is 
no doubt the fact that, to keep in power, the Catholic vote must be con- 
ciliated by fulfilling the promises made to gain office in 1896. The 
critical time having arrived, the bargain must be carried out. There 
-eems no other rational explanation of the present political situation. 

On its intrinsic merits, the matter is a simple one. The British North 
America Act — the Dominion Constitution — reserves to the Provinces the 
right to legislate on educational matters, with the proviso, that if in any 
Province a minority should consider itself unduly oppressed, it should 
have a right of appeal to the Dominion Parliament for remedial legisla- 
tion. The Dominion Government simply proposes to apply the remedial 
legislation in advance of any oppression ; for it is freely admitted that 
the Territorial Legislature has treated the minority in a satisfactory 
manner ; and the Ottawa Government pretends, indeed, that the educa- 
tion clauses only continue that satisfactory arrangement. 

The hollowness of this pretence is manifest ; and if the Government 
measure carries, not the present arrangement, but one which will give 
the Catholic priests full power to establish church schools and demand 
a share of the public funds to support them, will become a part of the 
constitution of the new Provinces. 

The pretence that the matter is not one for Ontario to interfere with 
is a fraudulent one on its face. Any question on which the votes of its 
representatives are demanded is a question of interest to it ; and assu- 
redly the future welfare of the two new Provinces, each several times 
larger than the State of New York, is a matter that must vitally affect 
the whole of the Dominion. 

That the West itself is satisfied with the new measure is also mani- 
festly untrue, especially when we see how strenuously Mr. Haultain, the 



286 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

Territorial Premier, is opposing the Government measures. Were this 
true, however, the ground for justifying the passage of this coercive 
measure would be entirely cut away. 

It is evident, too, that in the wording of the amended clauses the 
Catholics see the fulfilment of their hope of gaining as complete a con- 
trol of the education system in the new Provinces as they possess in 
Quebec. If the new Provinces are left to deal with this question in their 
own way, the Catholics will doubtless be dealt with as liberally in the 
future as they have been dealt with in the past. At the worst, they will 
only be in the same position as the Protestant sects. But if the new 
bills pass, they will be in a commanding position, their privileges being 
derived, not from Provincial legislation, which can be amended, but from 
a Dominion Act, and they will be able to set the local authorities at de- 
fiance. Such legislation will prepare the way for a long period of bitter 
religious strife and educational stagnation in the new Provinces. 

In his speech at Woodstock, Mr. Oliver told the Toronto people that, 
" if they objected to separate schools, they should begin to fight them 
at home." We may tell Mr. Oliver that there is no sense in his remark. 
The Toronto people have had some experience of Separate Schools, and 
may even wish to abolish them ; but, though they may not be able or 
even willing to begin a fight for their abolition '* at home," that is no 
reason why they should either submit to or sanction their forcible and 
permanent establishment in the newly-created Provinces. 

Mr. Oliver and the rest of the Laurier Administration may keep their 
positions for a few years by aid of their unholy compact, but they are 
mistaken, we think, if they imagine that the Canadian people will for 
very long submit to their Public School system being further degraded 
than it is at present to suic the bigotry of any church. 

Yes ; it must be true. Dr. Langtry, the great 
A THEOLOGICAL champion of Anglican Apostolic Succession, has 
RIP VAN WINKLE, just awakened from a long slumber, and has 

discovered that the world has been asleep as 
well as himself. That is to say, that is how it presents itself to him. 
He has thoroughly examined the erstwhile lively young giant Evolution, 
and, finding it nothing but a shell of glass, through which anybody with 
even a bat's eye and an ounce of brains could easily see, has shattered 
it with a stone from his little sling. Evolution, says the doctor, like 




SECULAR THOUGHT. 287 

elshazzar, has been weighed in the theological balances, has been found 
wanting, and has been compelled to retire to the shades from which it so 
lately and so boldly emerged to challenge the credentials of the world's 
priestly rulers. 

And, just when the Higher Criticism, emboldened and inspired by the 
success of its great and friendly rival, had imagined itself successful in 
its assault on the ecclesiastical citadel, it, too, has met its doom at the 
hands of the same bold warrior. While foolish pulpit heretics and still 
more foolish college professors are blindly continuing to preach Evolu- 
tion and Rationalism in every department of human knowledge, they 
little dream that their case has been tried and that adverse judgment 
has been delivered in that wisest court of human appeal — an Anglican 
pulpit ! Alas ! that we should have to record the demise of two such 
promising children of human thought. It almost gives us a mortal pang 
to part with our two idols. We feel, we imagine, like some Romans must 
have felt when they heard the Christians christen as St. Peter their old 
statue of Jupiter. But it can't be helped. Let us bury our dead, and 
erect a suitable tombstone at the head of the double grave : 
,, ^ ^ ,,*,,,,,, , •....•......••...• 

: HERE LIE THE REMAINS OF 

: THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION and THE HIGHER CRITICISM, 

: TWIN CHILDREN OF THE CHRISTIAN DEVIL, 

: Which, having been born in ancient days and nurtured for many centuries by 

: some of the brightest mtellects of the human race, had grown strong and 

: vigorous in spite of much priestly persecution, and had been thought 

: . by many sanguine but foolish men to have gained a complete 

; victory over their rivals. Theological Myth and the Theory 

: of Creation, and had been accepted even by many 

: Churchmen, but which 

: WERE ATTACKED AND SLAUGHTERED, WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE OR WISDOM 

: (" By the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe "), 

: but with a vast display of theological acumen and presumption, 

BY THE REV. DR. MOSSBACK LANGTRY, 
Ably assisted by the Toronto Glube, on the 13th day of May, 1905. 

: PEACE TO THEIR ASHES. 



Dr. Langtry is one of those devout churchmen who have no doubt 
heard a faint whisper of the results of modern criticism and inquiry, 
but who live in a world of mental stagnation, in which ** the faith once 
delivered to the saints " is regarded as the sinnmuni honum of all wisdom 
and the only basis of human happiness and righteousness. For them, 



288 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

the welfare of the human race is inextricably bound up with belief in 
the saving power of the " atoning blood of Ohrist" and the legitimacy of 
the Anglican Apostolic Succession. It is of no use to appeal to them on 
grounds either of fact or reason, for do they not tell us that God has 
** hid these things from the wise and prudent, and has revealed them 
unto babes " ? Dr. Langtry is a babe ; rather an old one, truly, but 
still intellectually only a babe. Like many others of his class, who with 
a claim to culture and wisdom that they say entitles them to deliver 
judgment on questions that are above the mental grasp of the ordinary 
educated layman, display an ignorance of what is going on even in their 
own department of theology that would be astonishing could we believe 
it to be honest. Dr. Langtry tells us that all the scientific work of the 
past century has been subverted. The pitiful part of it is, that a crowd 
of people can be found to listen to him without protest. 

Nothing is surer than the fact that — for intelligent men, that is — the 
whole scheme of theology has undergone a complete revolution during 
the past century. When Laplace told Napoleon that he had "no place 
for God " in his scheme of the universe, he only echoed the thought of 
the brightest thinkers of all ages. To-day, the most intelligenfof even 
the theologians have arrived at the point reached more than a century 
ago by Laplace. They talk of '* god," but as an individual, a supreme 
** being," god has disappeared from their schemes, and is replaced by 
some more or less vague idea of a more or less beneficent or impartial 
and infinite '* power," which places them practically beside Voltaire, 
Spencer, and Ingersoll. 

Dr. Langtry's utterances are only worthy of notice because, like those 
of Newell, Torrey, Roberts, and other semi-demented fanatics or fakers, 
they indicate the mental condition of the large crowds who hang upon 
their words. It- may be presumed that the proportion of heretics and 
sceptics is somewhat the same among the preachers as among laymen, 
but the latter pay the salaries, and that fact is strongly in favor of their 
honesty. In any case, it seems quite clear that to-day, though the 
schoolmaster has had a fair show for half-a-century at his task of in- 
structing the people, the great mass of the Christian world is as fully 
prepared to believe that the whale swallowed Jonah as were those who 
listened to the indorsation by Jesus of the old myth. 

And the people who go to-day to Spiritualistic seances to get commu- 
nications from their dead friends are mentally just on a par with Saul 
when he went to the Witch of Endor to get speech with Samuel. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 289 

Dr. Langtry's idiotic utterances are contradicted 
THE " WANING by so many of his fellow-preachers, that it seems 

MIRACLE AND almost absurd to speak of scientists and philo- 

THE CRUMBLING sophers in any sort of relation to them. Just 
CREED." now, the case of an Episcopal clergyman. Dr. A. 

S. Crapsey, of Rochester, said to be ** one of the 
most accomplished and scholarly ministers of the Episcopal Church," is 
under investigation by a commission appointed by his bishop, he having 
been charged with heresy in taking a rational view of the Bible. It is 
not likely that the case will come to trial, for the feeling of Dr. Crapsey's 
congregation is very strongly in his favor, however heretical his sermons 
may be. Some of his heretical utterances are as follows : 

''Belief in the inerrancy of the Bible is no longer possible to an edu- 
cated man, or to any one, in fact, who reads his Bible with reasonable 
intelligence and attention. 

" Science has mide the primitive miracle incredible, because the an- 
cient miracle and the modern conception of natural law cannot co-exist 
in the same mind. 

" Under the pressure of the scientific concepfcion of uniformity and 
continuity, the miracle has been driven from one stronghold to another, 
until novv it isnaikia^ a li^t d3 5p3rit3 stini in one region of the world 
and in one period of time. 

** Industrial commercialism is not afraid of the truth. It rewards 
discovery with its greatest prizes, while in the churches, even to this 
'] ly, discovery is a crime and invention is of the devil. 

"As long' as we, the ministers, are desperately holding on to the 
waning miracle and the crumbling denominational differences, we are in 
no condition to fight for eternal truth and justice. 

** The churches and denominations which now claim to represent the 
religious interests of mankind are the rearguard of the powers that 
make for religious progress : the}^ are the product of spent forces. 

*' In the light of scientific research, the Founder of Christianity, Jesus 
the son of Joseph, no longer stands apart from the common destiny of 
man in life and death, but he is in all things like as we are ; born as we 
are born, dying as we die." 

It is understood that Dr. Crapsey refuses to recant or to modify his 
opinions, and those who know him best believe that he will not do so, 
and that he will not attempt in any way to evade full responsibility for 
the opinions he has expressed. Other preachers oppose anything like a 
-heresy trial, especially as in the discussion of a proposal to divide the 
diocese of Western New York, making Rochester a new cathedral city, 
^^" ^'rapsey has been the only one mentioned as fit for its bishop. 



290 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

The brotherhood of St. Andrew held a series of 
IS CANON CODY meetings during the last week in May, and, if 

BETTER THAN A the proceedings were of a commonplace character 
** BEAST OF THE and need no notice, some words of Canon Cody 
FIELD?" demand comment. He said he ** regretted the 

materialistic and commercial views taken ^by 
many men, which had lowered the standard of life and made them little 
better than the beasts of the field." 

This is one of those remarks that need explanation and illustration to 
raise them above the level of ordinary preachers' drivel. Who are the 
men who are, not "a little lower than the angels," but only a little above 
the beasts, on account of their philoso[)hical or commercial views ? 

Coming down to actualities. Canon Cody might tell us by what tests 
we shall differentiate the clerical from the legal, medical and commercial 
professions so as to save it from the application of his own criticism. In 
all that characterizes the strenuous seeker after shekels and soft snaps, 
the clerical profession is not a whit behind any other. There is, indeed, 
no profession which is so strongly marked by materialistic ideas and 
commercialism as that of a preacher. We do not believe that any of 
the others are so marked as it is by selfish greed and shabby meanness 
in dealing with dependents. It alone stands out conspicuous in its de- 
mand for discounts on purchases, half-rates for transportation, and 
exemption from taxation. 

But a few days ago, in conversation with a pious churchman who had 
been a lay delegate to a Synod meeting, he told us that he had been 
horrified to find that almost the only question of interest discussed by 
the ministers was that of money — how to increase salaries and how best 
to squeeze more money out of the laity. It is said that, here in Toronto, 
only a few weeks ago, a young " lady" asked for a discount on some pur- 
chases because, as she whispered to the salesman, she was just about to 
be married to a minister. 

There are no doubt some bright exceptions, as there are among artists, 
politicians, doctors, and other professions ; but we venture to say that 
there is no business that so tends to encourage a low, materialistic, and 
merely commercial view of life as that of the preaching fraternity. 

" Men require a more strenuous morality ! " said Canon Cody. We 
agree with him. Only, we would remark, for his benefit, that morality, 
like charity, should begin at home. The preachers would do well to 
begin practising a little more strenuously that morality and that unsel- 



J 



^m SECULAR THOUGHT. 291 

^■fishness which they are so ready to impress upon other people. At the 
^^^resent time, preachers and deacons, Sunday school superintendents and 
teachers, and other prominent Christian professors, enjoy an unenviable 
notoriety that by no means justifies their assumption of the role of \ 
moral exemplars for the rest of mankind. 

Prof. George Bryce, LL.D., of Winnipeg, was in 
A COLLEGE PRO- Ottawa recently, attending a meeting of the 
FESSOR ON THE Royal Society, and being a prominent Canadian 
SCHOOL CLAUSES, educationist, was interviewed by a Toronto Globe 

representative. Prof. Bryce denounces the op- 
ponents of the school clauses as " a narrow-minded handful in Toronto," 
though we had understood that Premier Haultain, of the Territories to 
be dealt with, was an equally strong opponent. This somewhat lowers 
our estimate of the value of Prof. Bryce's opinions, and some things he 
admits still further discounts them. 

One of his chief arguments is that ** the people are satisfied." Even 
if this is the case — and it is certainly only partially true — it does not at 
all follow that the rest of the Dominion should pass legislation which in 
the future may become a source of dangerous dispute, in the inevitable 
changes of public opinion. But his admissions in regard to the outcome 
of school legislation in Manitoba prove how dangerous it will be to place 
authority in the hands of the Catholic party in the new Provinces, if 
backed by Dominion legislation. 

Prof. Bryce admitted that he had been a strong advocate of purely 
secular schools in the time of the trouble over the Manitoba schools, and 
took a leading part in the discussion, opposing Archbishop Tache in a 
newspaper controversy as " Veritas." ** Why, then," he was asked, '* are 
5'ou not opposed to the educational clauses now proposed? " 

" Well, I find the people of the Territories satisfied with the present 
system of education. They have as near to a pure public school system 
as is workable in Canada. In Winnipeg city to-day, fifteen years after 
the passing of our Act, we have the Roman Catholics still dissatisfied. 
They are paying taxes towards the support of the Public schools, and 
are maintaining parochial schools of their own. This is undesirable. 
Then sixty or seventij of their seJtools in country })laces, nominally Public 
HchooU.are, it is declared, beinc/ conducted as Separate schocds. This, again, 
is undesirable. Thus the Territories have practically a better working 



292 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



system of Public schools, in so far as religious parties are concerned, 
than we have under our Manitoba Public school system." 

" But is not this a surrender of principle on yonr part? " was asked. 

*' Not at all. A Public school system, pure and simple, is imp)ossihle in 
Canada. Most of us believe in the principle of tlie separation of Church 
and State, but this, if logically followed out, would make the Public school 
a secular school. But logic is not everything. We as Presbyterians are 
not prepared for secular schools. In our deliverances we insist on liberty 
to have the Bible in the schools. Manitoba in 1890 had to yield this. 
In this * John Knox' year we are stronger than ever on that point. Both 
in Manitoba and the Territories we have insisted on the liberty of having 
religious instruction in the so-called Public schools from 3.30 to 4 o'clock 
in the school day — of course, with a conscience clause. This has been 
allowed." 

** But what about the charge of * coercion ' ? " 

*' To me, that is absurd. To my mind, the only coercion in sight is 
that of a narrow-minded handful in Toronto who wish to coerce our 
Western people into an agitation that is distasteful to them." 

**But isn't the Dominion fixing the terms for the new Provinces? " 

** No more than, in my judgment, it has the right to do. For more 
than thirty years in Manitoba I have advocated a United Canada and a 
strong Central Authority. I want no Manitoba First, Ontario First, or 
anything of the kind." 

Professor Bryce, it will be seen, is a Presbyterian 
PROF. BRYCE 'S who believes in a strong central executive to deal 

BAD LOGIC AND with matters of opinion, which we conceive to be 
DANGEROUS not only logically unsound, as he admits, and 

POLICY. extremely dangerous, but the very antithesis of 

a rational idea of government in a democratic 
country. ** You cannot have a strong country if you allow every Pro- 
vince to have its own '^sweet will,' or to pass laws which are inimical or 
threatening to the people of the whole," was his crude and schoolboyish 
way of putting the matter ; as if the passing of an Education Act satis- 
factory to its people by the Manitoba Legislature might endanger the 
ability of the Dominion to pay its debts or to build a transcontinental 
railway. How any question as to Manitoba First can be involved in the 
passage of an Education Act, specially reserved to its Legislature ty the 
British North America Act, is a mystery ; but Prof. Bryce admits that 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 293 

in this question the Presbyterians have thrown logic to the winds ; and 
he also shows us how religious and political prejudice and partyism may 
destroy the consistency of a man of great ability. Asked " Why not let 
the people decide the matter in their new Provinces ? " he replied : 

" Well, because it is the duty of the Dominion to decide it. The Do- 
minion, for prudential reasons easy to name, should not give up one iota 
of its responsibility in these new Provinces. We want all Canada to 
pronounce upon this important question.*' 

But Canada has already pronounced upon the question. The British 
North America Act is the pronouncement of both Canada and the Im- 
perial Parliament, and the education clauses of the Autonomy Bills are 
an attempt to procure in an illicit manner an amendment of that Act. 

" And besides, to refer the school question to the Provinces them- 
selves would be to throw a bone of contention into each new Province. 
Leave the matter open, and what would happen ? The Roman Catholics 
would endeavor by legal process to obtain what they claimed to have 
under the Act of 1875, namely, church-controlled schools." 

Logic is evidently not a strong point with Prof. Bryce. The Terri- 
tories having already made an amicable settlement of this matter, to 
allow this satisfactory settlement to continue would be to " throw a bone 
of contention into each new Province ! " A better explanation of the 
present attempt is, that the Catholics having failed to secure anything 
more than what they are compelled to admit is a fair arrangement, the 
education clauses have been so framed as, under pretence of continuing 
the present system, to give them all the advantages they seek, and this 
by an unconstitutional exercise of the power of the Dominion Parlia- 
ment ! Surely this is encouraging, especially from '* a prominent edu- 
cationist" who was once an advocate of purely national secular schools. 
Such is the effect of partyism. 

King Edward, it is said, has aroused the fanati- 
KING EDWARD cism of the British Sabbatarians by watching 

ASSISTING AT Premier Balfour playing a game of golf on a 

SUNDAY GOLF. recent Sunday afternoon. One writer in a daily 

paper asks : " Is it not time that both I the King 
and the Premier] were made to realize that there is in this country a 
religious sentiment which will not permit itself to be left out of account?" 
This is not the first time that Royalty in Britain has run foul of Sabba- 



294 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



tarianism ; for, if our memory does not deceive us, the late Queen was 
on one occasion '' called down " by the same crowd for attending an 
aristocratic amateur theatrical rehearsal on a Sund:iy afternoon. 

It is unquestionable that there is in Britain, as there is in Canada, a 
" religious sentiment which will not permit itself to be left out of ac- 
count." It is noisy, self-assertive, overbearing, and hypocritical ; but 
the palpable fact is that it is not really the sentiment of the mass of the 
people. It is the object of the Sabbatarians to create such a sentiment 
among the masses, and we believe they will succeed unless prominent 
and influential men of liberal views openly announce their sentiments. 

No fact is more patent than that, whenever a relaxation is permitted 
of the Puritanical Sunday laws, a vast number of overworked mechanics 
and their families are ever ready to avail themselves of the opportunity 
given for much-needed relaxation and enjoyment. The Sabbatarians 
know as well as we do that, if Sunday excursions by boat and rail were 
permitted by our rulers, they would be most extensively patronized. 

It is safe to say that, without the tyranny at present exercised by those 
who talk so much about " the religious sentiment," but who are simply 
working in the interests of a strict clerical trade-union, the Sunday laws 
would disappear within a few weeks. 

The one great argument used to-day by the preachers, who have been 
forced to admit that there is no authority whatever, Biblical or ecclesi- 
astical, for observing Sunday as a sacred or holy day, is one which is 
intended to enlist the sympathies of the workmen, who are told that, if 
Sunday is allow^ed to be " desecrated," it will soon be converted into an 
ordinary working day, and the laborer will then be compelled to slave 
seven days for six days' pay. 

Large numbers of workmen are misled by this foolish cry. We call 
it foolish, for if the employers could compel men to work seven days a 
week, either for six days' pay or for seven days' pay, they could compel 
them equally as easily to work longer hours per day or to accept other 
disagreeable terms. If the workmen can protect themselves from op- 
pression on week-days, they can also do so on Sundays. 

Britain's experience of Sunday freedom shows that there is not the 
slightest tendency to convert it into an ordinary working day ; and the 
tendency in Europe generally seems to be rather in the direction of 
converting Sunday into a day of rest and recreation. 

It is astonishing that the laborers cannot see that the Sabbatarians 
are simply working in the interests of a clerical trade-union. 



SECULAK THOUGHT. 295 



fIDoralltij "Mitbout 1RcUQion< 

BY W. MANN. 

:o: 



" One beautiful starlight night Hegel stood with me at an open window. I, 
being a young man of twenty-two, and having just eaten well and drank coffee, 
naturally spoke with enthusiasm of the stars, and called them abodes of the 
blest. But the master muttered to himself : ' The stars ! H'm, h'm ! The 
stars are only a brilliant eruption on the firmament.' ' What ?' cried I ; ' then 
there is no blissful spot above where virtue is rewarded after death ?' But he, 
glaring at me with his dim eyes remarked, sneering : ' So you want a pourboire* 
because you have supported your sick mother and not poisoned your brother :' '■ 
Heinrich Heine, Confessions.. 

" He, likewise, who still needs the expectation of a future recompense as a 
spring of action stands in the outer court of morality, and let him tike heed 
lest he fall. For supposing that in the course of his life this belief is overthrown 
by doubt, what then becomes of his morality ? Nay, how will it fare with the 
latter, even in the case of the former remaining unshaken ? He who does good 
in view of future beatitude acts, after all, only from selfish motives." — STRAUSS, 
The Old Faith and the New (p. 145). 



It is a common argument with Christians that if people lose their faith in a 

future life, in which they are to be rewarded or punished according to their 

actions in this life, they will rush to crime and immorality as swiftly as the 

be devilled swine rushed to the sea. The Christian poet, Young, declared : 

" Virtue with Immortality expires. 
Who tells me he denies his soul immortal, 
Whate'er his boast, has told me he's a knave." 

To which piece of ignorant fanaticism George Eliot made the crushing rttort : 

'* We can imagine the man who ' denies his soul immortal' replying: ' It is 
possible that you would be a knave, and Icve yourself alone, if it were not for 
your belief in immortality ; but you are not to force upon me what would result 
from your own utter want of moral emotion. I am just a<< honest, not because I 
expect to live in another world, but because, having tcit the pain of injustice and 
dishonesty towards myself, I have a fellow-feeling with other men, who would 
suffer the same pain if I were dishonest or unjust towards thc-m. Why should I 
give my neighbor short weight in this world because there is not another world in 
which I should have nothing to weigh out to him ? I am ho lest because I don't 
like to inflict evil on others in this life, not becanse I'm afraid of evil to myself in 
another. The fact is, I do not love myself alone, whatev. r logical necessity 
there may be for that conclusion in your mind. . . It is possible that you might 
prefer to " live the brute," to sell your country, or to slay your father, if you were 
not afraid of some disagreeable consequences from the criminal laws of another 
world ; but even if I could conceive no motive but my own worldly interest or 
the gritification of my animal desires, I have not found that beastliness, 
treachery, and parric de are the direct way to happiness and comfort on earth.' " 
('* Worldliness and Oiher-Worldliness," Westminster Review, 1857. Reprinted 
with " Theophrastus, and Essays," vol. xii , George Eliot's Works, pp. 350-351. 
Warwick edition ; Blackwood.) 

♦ Pourboirey a " tip " or drink-money given for services rendered. 



296 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

George Eliot said that Young appeared to think that the better part of virtue 
consists "in contempt for mortal joys, in 'meditation of our own decease,' and 
in * applause ' of God in the style of a congratulatory address to her Majesty — 
all which has small relation to the well-being of mankind on this earth." And 
-she declares that morality no more depends "on the belief in a future state than 
•^the interchange of gases in the lungs on the plurality of worlds." Continumg, 
in beautiful prose poetry, she says : 

" Nay, it is conceivable that in some minds the deep pathos lying in the 
thought of human morality — that we are here for a little while and then vanish 
away, that this earthly life is all that is given to our loved ones and to our many 
suffering fellow-men — lies nearer the fountains of moral emotion than the concep- 
tion of extended existence. And surely it ought to be a welcome fact, if the 
thought of mortality as well as of immortality be favorable to virtue. We can 
imagine that the proprietors of a patent water supply may have a dread of common 
springs ; but for those who only share the general need there cannot be too great 
a security against a lack of fresh water — or of pure morality. It should be 
matter of unmixed rejoicing if this latter necessary of healthful life has its 
evolution ensured in the interaction of human souls as certainly as the evolution 
of science or of art, with which, indeed, it is but a twin ray, melting into them, 
with indefinable limits." 

These words, ringing with the most piercing truth and sincerity, are among the 
noblest ever penned upon the subject. It has always seemed to me that women 
deal with this subject so much better than men, as indeed is but natural, seeing 
that men learn the alphabet of morality at their mother's knee. When men begin 
preaching morality they generally leave the impression that the practice of 
morality is something very distressing and painful, but that it pays a good 
dividend in the end. On the other hand, vice is depicted as very seductive and 
alluring, but a bad speculation in the long run. That is not the way a free-minded 
woman teaches her child. 

Here is another extract from a woman writer — Miss Edith Simcox She is 
answering the Christian taunt that people only want to get rid of their religion so 
that they may live in wickedness : 

" But men who wish to disbelieve in the existence of a personal, more or less 
righteous, Deity, because they imagine that such an existence is the only obstacle 
to their finding happiness in an unprincipled self-indulgence, have not even 
taken the first steps towards embracing the doctrines of scientific Atheism ; . . . 
and if they were to develope their conceptions, would be more likely to arrive at 
some form or other of Theistic superstition than at the recognition of the 
universe as a system of phenomena bound together by laws, or existing in 
constant intersecting relations." " Though we say that the God in whose name 
men have clung to an ideal of perfection is but a dream of the mind, a shadow 
of the will, giving them no real help in their endeavor, the fact remains that men 
have owned the infinity of duty, not as a dream or shadow, but in living truth, 
and if men have sought perfection before now without receiving superhuman 
help in their search, shall they in these latter days turn with open eyes to a less 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 297 

worthy goal ? To say they must is, indeed, a godless— say, rather, a soulless — 
creed ; to say they will is false and faithless." ("Natural Law," pp. 270-357.) 

Moreover, the )Oung men or women who have sense enough to emancipate 
themselves from the toils of superstition will have sense enough to know that the 
practice of vice does not lead to happiness. 

However, there is no necessity to discard religion in order to lead an immoral 
life. The first thing Mr. Jabez Balfour asked for when he was arrested was his 
Bible. Mr. De Cobain, who debauched his Sunday-school scholars, is another 
example. Mr. Suthers has been giving his experiences of Russia in the pages of 
the Clarion. He says : 

*' There are two hundred churches in Petersburg, supplemented by shrines and 
open chapels at nearly every street corner, and holy pictures lighted with lamps 
in every restaurant, railway refreshment room, and drinking shop ; and, I am 
assured, even in places too infamous to be named. In the streets, before each 
church and holy picture, the passers-by make more or less devout obeisance, and 
the sign of the cross three times repeated." (Clarion, September 16.) 

The Russians saw no incongruity in placing holy pictures " in places too 
infamous to be named." Piety and vice flourished arm-in-arm in these places> 
naked and unashamed. 

To take another instance, of which history gives many examples, see the 
recently-published Life of the debauched and profligate George Villiers, second 
Duke of Buckingham, written by Lady Burghclere, who says : *' Buckingham has 
undoubtedly given serious off'ence to all decent-minded people by his loose talk 
and ribald sermons, and it was the more inexcusable since he frequented meeting- 
houses and prayed as lustily as any Anabaptist or Leveller." This conduct was, 
by his contemporaries, ascribed to hypocrisy; but Lady Burghclere suggests that 
his conduct was "an unedifying instance of the unbridled emotional tempera- 
ment," and that " a man so cursed with a dual nature is not always consciously 
insincere. Nothing is more communicable than religious fervor. And Bucking- 
ham was the last person to resist the infection of such an atmosphere." (Cited in 
Literary World, January 8, 1904.) Just so. As Lord Shaftesbury wisely re- 
marked : " If we are told a man is religious, we still ask, What are his morals ? 
But if we hear at first that he has honest morals, and is a man of natural Justice 
and good temper, we seldom think of the other question, whether he be religious 
or devout." 

And why should Christians distress themselves so much over the supposed 
civil consequences of a rejection of Christianity ? Have the Christian nations a 
monopoly of morality ? How is it that the greatest curse of this country, 
drunkenness, is practically unknown among the Mohammedan populations of the 
East ? How is it that heathen '* India has not half as many homicides annually 
as England?" ("Crime and Its Causes," by D. \V. Morrison, p. 51.) If Chris- 
tianity is so superior to all other religions, why do heathens show a cleaner record 



298 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

in these matters than the Christian nations ? "I have Hved," says Mr. Russell 
Wallace, " with communities of savages in South America and in the East who 
hive no laws or law courts, but the public opinion of the village freely expressed. 
Each man scrupulously respects the rights of his fellows, and any infraction of 
these rights rarely or never takes place." (Cited in " Crime and Its Causes," p. 36.) 
These people had not, hke Mr. Jabez Balfour, the advantage of a Christian 
education ; they had no Bible to guide them in the path of virtue. They knew 
nothing of Noah and Lot, of David and Solomon ; nothing of Christ and 
heavenly crowns for the good and the Devil and flaming hell for the bad. Yet 
what an example they set to the Christian nations ! 

It costs about ten million pounds a year in police, prisons, judges, etc., to make 
the Christian " respect the rights of his fellows " in this country (England) alone, 
in spite of which enormous sum there is an annual crop of " between 500,000 
and 600,000 cases annually tried in the criminal courts of England alone." (W. 
D. Morrison, cited in Gore's "Scientific Basis of Morality," p. 512.) And yet 
money is poured out like water to send missionaries to the heathen, to give them 
tlie benefits of Christianity ! " It is a mad world, my masters," and a sad one, 
too, when we think of the wasted energy and treasure which might be put to such 
good purpose in our own country. 

Before trumpeting the superior morality of their religion, let Christians consider 
the sea of blood shed by its professors when it had the power. M. Paul Bert, in 
a famous speech, at which Gambetta took the chair, answering the priestly threat, 
"You have sent me from the school ] I carry with me morality, its basis and 
sanction ; I leave you to the abyss and the mud in which you will roll," replied : 

" We answer him, with the map of Europe and the world before our eyes, 
history in our memory, commencing with the opening of that sombre, bloody, 
and fanatical Middle Age, that modern societies march towards morality in pro- 
poition as they leave religion behind." (Speech at the Cirque d'Hiver, August, 
1881.) 

The Middle Ages were the Dark Ages— the Ages of Faith. This is not an 
Age of Faith. The clergy of all denominations deplore the advancing tide of 
unbelief. Yet, as Professor Huxley pointed out, the sense of duty is more widely 
spread now than at any other period of the world's history. Replying to a 
Catholic apologist, he says : 

"■ Ah ! but says Mr. Lilly, these are all products of our Christian inheritance ; 
when Christian dogmas vanish, virtue will disappear too, and the ancestral ape 
and tiger will have full play. But there are a good many people who think it 
obvious that Christianity also inherited a good deal from Paganism and Judaism, 
and that if the Stoics and the Jews revoked their bequest the moral property of 
Christianity would realize very little. And if morality has survived the stripping 
off several sets of clothes which have been found to fit badly, why should it not 
be able to get on very well in the light and handy garments which Science is 
ready to provide?" (" Essays on Controverted Questions," pp. 234-235.) 



SECULAE THOUGHT. 299 



Morality existed before Christ, and will continue to exist after he has been 
placed on the shelf along with all the defunct gods of antiquity. Let those 
timid Christians who think otherwise hear the words of the great Faraday, who 
was himself a believer. He says : " I have no intention of substituting anything 
for religion, but I wish to take that part of human nature which is independent 
of it. Morality, philosophy, commerce, the various institutions and habits of 
society, are independent of religion and may exist either with or without it. They 
are always the same, and can dwell alike in the breasts of those who, from 
opinion, are entirely opposed to the set of principles they include in the term 
* religion,' or of those who have noie." — Freethinker. 



Zhc 3flutterinQ6 of tbe Bovecotee* 

:o: 

BY AN IDLER. 

:o: 

The staid, respectable church goer who attends regularly twice every Sunday, 
and pays his pew-rent and other church dues as punctually as he pays those of 
the I. O. F. or the A. O. U. VV., in the " sure and certain hope " of a ten per cent, 
dividend in the next world, with a large bonus addition of eternal happiness, if 
he reads his newspaper must have been shocked at the vagaries of some of his 
company's directors a few weeks ago. Here is a passage from the Toronto 
Telegram : 

" Montreal, May 9. — His Grace the Archbishop of Montreal and Bishop 
Carmichael have issued a joint letter to the clergy of the diocese of Montreal 
relating to the letter which has been sent to all the clergy in Canada, in the 
interest of the movement known as the 'higher criticism.* We, the prelates, 
state that we have read the document with care and consider it of sufficient 
importance to counsel the clergy with reference to it. They repudiate the sug- 
gestion that the clergy should cease to build the faiih of souls upon the details 
of New Ttstament narrative until the matter is ultimately determined by a court 
of trained research. The circular concludes : 

" ' The danger of this suggestion as far as congregations are concerned is, to 
our minds, saddening in the extreme, and only shows how men, otherwise 
honorable, can be blinded to the demands of honor in conn ction with matters 
in which they are deeply interested. If the gentlemen who have signed this 
document cannot buiTd up the faith of their people on the New Testament 
narrative, there is a widely open door through which they can pass and save their 
honor, which they certainly cannot do in the light of their ordination vows by 
remaining in the Church of England.' " 

The Archbishop knows his business ; and my sympathies are with him and 
the open door. I do not like those people who so aptly illustrate the old nursery 
rhyme — * 

" He is not in, he is not out, 
But somewhere or other poking about." 



300 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



The circular mentioned in the article shows the spread of what are called the 
'Neo-Anglican views. The details of Christ's life, as reported by the Evangelists, 
are thrown as a bone to the Higher Critics. Only the miracles of the Virgin 
Birth, the Resurrection, the Ascension, and the Founding and Guiding of the 
Church by the aid of the Holy Spirit, are necessary for Christianity, and these 
alone are properly authenticated. 

The Archbishop fears the effect of such views on the laity, and I agree with 
him. If the stories we learned at our mother's knee and in Sunday school are 
merely jokes perpetrated on succeeding generations by some first or second cen- 
tury humorist, or if these, like the tales of Jack the Giant Killer, Little Jack 
Horner, and Buster Brown, are only valuable for their literary merit, there may 
be a wholesale stampede of the laity to Agnosticism ; which I would deplore 
•equally with the venerable prelate, unless accompanied by a very strong growth 
in intelligence and culture among the converts. 

The old theory that the writers of the Bible were simply the Remingtons, the 
Underwoods, the Smith-Premiers, and the Densmores by means of which the 
Almighty Typist wrote the Revelation, and that its details are as true and exact 
as the cinematograph films of the latest prize-fight between Jimmy Butt and 
Jabez White, is the only safe theory. The moment you remove a single prop 
Humpty Dumty is apt to get his great fall. 

But the Anglicans are not the only ones affected. This is from the Toronto 
Ohbe : 

"■ New York, May 14. — Before the General Assembly of the Presbyterian 
Church, which meets at Winona Lake, Ind., is to be discussed the overture 
made by the Presbytery of Nassau for the dropping of the Westminster Con- 
fession of Faith and the substitution therefor of the brief statement of the 
Reformed faith. 

'* On September 15 last the Rev. Dr. Samuel T. Carter, of New York city, in 
an open letter to the Presbytery, which attracted wide attention, assailed certain 
doctrines ' received ' by the Church, but not generally believed. 

*' For the penning of the letter it was thought that Dr. Carter might be tried 
for heresy^ but after appearing before the Presbytery of Nassau and making an 
appeal for truth and the dropping of all misstatements, however time-honored, 
he triumphed in that, instead of trying him for heresy, the Presbytery voted to 
overture the General Assembly to drop the Westminster Confession and substitute 
the brief statement of the Reformed faith. 

" Dr. Carter, whose defence of his beliefs led to the overture of the Presbytery, 
has given out a statement in which he says in part : 

*' ' The Westminster Confession in fact says that God is a monster ; modern 
theology ^ays that he is not. In this sentence lies the whole gist of the conten- 
tion. Tamerlane built a pyramid of two thousand men of the garrison of Herat, 
laid in brick and mortar, and history calls him a monster for doing it. Lord 
Jeffreys presided over the 'bloody circuit' in which he condemned 700 to 
execution, and he stands scorned and by himself on the roll of England's 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 301 



Chancellors. But Tamerlane and Jeffreys were sweet souls compared with a 
God who could condemn a whole race to endless torment for a single sin. 

"'Readers of " Lorna Doone" will remember how the robber Doones of 
Bagworthy looted a farmer's cottage and found a little babe in its cradle. One 
of ihem called to his comrade to have a game with him. He tossed the infant 
to the other, who caught it upon the point of his pike. We call these men fiends, 
but they were bright angels and seraphs compared with a ^od who could send 
millions of infants to eternal torments. Every fibre of my moral being rises up 
against this God-dishonoring theology ; with the utmost fervor of my soul I 
reject this God of the Confession, and as fully as I reject this God so gladly do 
I receive the God of the gospel of Jesus Christ — the Father in the great parable 
who runs forth to meet his wretched but repenting son, falls upon his neck and 
kisses him. 

" ' The moral sense of the people is shocked by the shilly-shallying of the 
Presbyterian Church as to the Confession. The present connection of tlic Pres- 
byterian Church with the Confession, if it were not so serious, would be a farce ; 
being so serious, it is a crime. What must the people think of the ministers 
if they accept this God of the Confession ; what must they think of them if they 
do not accept him, but solemnly aflfirm that they do in the act of ordination ? A 
sham theology is sure to make a sham religion, and a sham religion is sure to 
lead to the honors of the Roman Empire and the French Revolution, the 
eruption of the human volcano, most dreadful of all' ' 

Dr. Carter does not like the Confession of Faith. The Presbytery of Nassau 
— very accommodating body — sends an overture to the General Assembly to fix 
up a new one to suit him. The General Assembly, 1 understand, have since 
refused the job. No doubt they were afraid that the reverend doctor might also 
take a dislike to the Bible, and that the Presbytery might ask them to write a 
new one to please him. I may say that I prefer the god created by the West- 
minster divines to one of the doctor's make. The god of the VVestminster pattern 
was not very lovable, but he had a grim, austere respectability about him, while 
the doctor's calf-killing, slobbeiing affair is sillier than S ntimental Tommy. 

I am happy to find myself in agreement with the Assembly and with the Arch- 
bishop in repudiating Agnostic Christians and Christian Agnostics and all their 
woiks. 



The London Hospital issues a warning against revivals, saying that **emotion 
is a force seeking outlet in action, capable of being guided by those who have 
been trained to bring it into subjection, but certain, when suffered to accumulate, 
to overpower persons of feeble will and compel them into courses which sound 
judgment would often be unable to approve." Abandonment to religious 
feeling, it says, is the surrender of the will to the emotiops, and the effect is to 
give emotion the predominant place in the organism. — Path Finder^ Washinii^- 
ton, D.C, April i, 1905. 



302 SECULAK THOUGHT. 

fIDat) flDurt)ocft'6 animal Storiee. 

:o: 

THE HOG. 

That is the modern name for our family. It is just with us as with our cousins, 
the Human Family : while our name differs in different parts of the world we are 
much alike under the skin. We are known as pigs, swine, peccaries, wild boar, 
the office bore, the end-seat hog, the most highly civilized of the race being the 
bacon hog. There are the Berkshire, Yorkshire and grass hogs, the razor-back 
hog, and — the one that shows the result of good feeding most quickly and is 
considered by the professors in our colleges to be the most highly developed of 
all the races — the office hog. A common hog will get bodily into the trough 
and feed his fill, then lie down and grunt his satisfaction ; but the office hog 
would like to stand in all the troughs at once. 

One of the great and distinguishing features in the history of the hog is that 
we were filled with the Spirit long before humans got a stock of it. It was in 
Galilee and long ago that a ghost entered into a whole herd of our forefathers, 
and they immediately got ready to enter on another incarnation, turned baptist 
all, and entered into their rest. We can point with pride to the fact that we 
furnished the first batch of sanctified suicides by drowning. 

In recent times the hog has done more for the advancement of civilization 
than any other of the creatures of God. How, we may ask, could the missionary 
be kept at his task of converting the heathen, were it not for the great and 
benevolent men who have gone " long " on short ribs, or who went " short " on 
lard just when the market had reached high water mark ? Or take corn, one of 
the grains that go largely to make "genuine pea-fed bacon;" how, we ask, 
could a man gather in the blessings of godolmity so quickly as by cornering it 
and so raising the price of pork ? Millions, aye, tens of millions of dollars have 
been " made " by a deal in corn. Now, is it not reasonable to expect the 
recipient of so much grace, or grease — the terms are generally synonymous — to 
give a tithe to the work of praising him who said, 

" The poor ye have always with you, but me ye have not always." 

Where, we ask, would the great American nation be to-day but for US ? A 
town in the State of Ohio was once named, on our account, Porkopolis, and 
now, a greater one in Illinois is as celebrated on our account as another is 
•because of beer. Speak, ye high-stepping advocates of beef, and say how could 
ye build your railroads but for US ? How mine your coal, or pump your oil, 
but by OUR aid ? Beef? It won't do. Polacks, Hungarians, Hibernians, 
Hottentots, fed on beef at sixteen cents a pound ? Never ! the thing is monstrous 
and unspeakable. Ye who have nothing to live on but dividends mu^t walk 
warily or ye. are undone. And the farmer who must sell his wheat and his beef 



« 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 303 

to pay you the interest on his mortgage, how shall he maintain himself and his 
offspring without his " hawgs," scrofula, and salt rheum ? But for us, where 
would be the result of the researches of the scientists ? No trichinae and no 
triumph for them. We say to you gentlemen that we scatter more blessings 
broadcast than any animal that ever dug tubers out of God's footstool. 

The office bore is an old tried breed with points all his own He is found in 
all latitudes and is allowed a good deal more by the long-suffering editor. His 
uses are many ; he won't let your tobacco become stale, and will see to it that 
the cushion of your revolving chair is kept warm should you rise for the paper 
cutter. In winter he is as good as an automatic thermostat to regulate the heat 
of the stove by vigorous and regular expectoration. Be it summer-time, and you 
have forgotten to be gracious, he will remind you of your ill manners by a-king 
you for a piece of " chewing," and, indicating the cuspidor wiih his lefi hind leg, 
say : 

"Shove that dam thing over, will you ? they ain't no fun in spittin' on a cold 
stove ; y' don't hear no sizzle." 

If the breeze comes in the window you needn't be afraid of any of the ex- 
changes or loose copy flopping off your desk, for he'll hold them down with both 
hind feet. If your chronic warfare with the Weekly Boil over the way waxes 
tame and your literary sword is dulled and hacked, he will put you on your 
mettle and show you how to give an upper cut thus : 

" Oh, say, old man, you were away off last week. You didn't swat the rag 
sheet half hard. Oh, yes, I knew what you were driving at, but it lacked ginger. 
If I'd known you were overworked I'd have wrote that article myself. I'd have 
give 'em hell." 

Suppose the pastor of the Peanutville Anglican Church sends you a four- 
column article on " Evidences of Christianity Having Flourished Among the 
Aztecs in the Latter Half of the Second Century B.C.," and hints that he will 
consent to accept an honorarium if }0u publish his article ; and, suppose that 
by the same mail comes a notice of a sight draft by Pulp and Clay for three 
months' paper ; also, suppose that you dictate a note to your typewriter, telling 
his reverence that you regret that you do not find his communication available 
at this time, without reference to its literary, etc. The office bore is sure to be 
so engaging and altogether so gallant that the note and enclosure will go to the 
wrong party, and that cursed sight draft will be stood off for a week at least. The 
office bore is mangy, razor-backed, long snouted and altogether unlovely, but he 
is a useful beast, as he increases your need of salvation for violation of section 
three of the decalogue. 

The literary bore is of the same family or sub-family. He meets you at the 
post-office when you are in a hurry. He has been at the public library, and is in 
no haae. Do )0U know how Karl Marx proves there is no capital except — ? 



304 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



You don't know, of course. Have you read Henry George's quotation from 
McCulloch to prove — ? No ? He'll read you a little ; it won't take long. Just 

a minute. He wants to show you that you don't understand the 

If you have a spark of manhood your gun should speak out with no uncertain 
sound or aim. After a few cases like this you will be able to pot twenty-nine 
clay pigeons out of a possible thirty, eighty yards' rise ; the literary bore has his 
uses. 

The end-seat hog is of another sort and is found of both sexes and all sects. It 
thrives well in either church or theatre, but the finest specimens are always 
found in the street cars from June to November. It is generally twins and sits 
facing itself on both seats, and you have to drag yourself through the barrier of 
knees as best you may, unless you happen to be very large, active and fierce, or 
very young, well-dressed and pretty. Let us, dear brethren, close with the 
doxology : 

Praise God from whom all bacon flows, 

Praise heavy jowl ana pudgy nose. 

Praise him who makes the sausage meat. 

Praise spare ribs, ham and pickled feet. 



IRocftcfeller Iplan for innitiriQ tbe Cburcbee* 

:o: 

BY B. F. UNDERWOOD. 

:o: 

Last Sunday John D. Rockefeller listened to a sermon at the Fifth Avenue 
Baptist Church, New York, by the pastor in favor of organizing a great universal 
church, doing away with creeds and dogmas. At the close of the discourse, Mr. 
Rockefeller congratulated the minister on the sermon, and added : 

" Excuse me for speaking sharply, but when we first began work in consoli- 
dating the competitive system, A said : ' You cannot do it ; it can't be done.' 
VV^e said : ' It can be done. It must be done. It has got to come.' 

" And to-day we are vindicated in our judgment, for we can show the world 
the progress achieved by consolidation and its benefits to civilization. 

" As we become more and more imbued with the spirit of Jesus Christ, 
individually, I mean, the church will naturally follow in the same channels and 
tend toward one great end." 

Mr. Rockefeller consolidated the oil industry by purchasing or wrecking and 
crushing out all concerns that were competing with him, until he had practically 
secured a monopoly of the business and was able to control production and 
prices to suit himself. 

This was done by injuring and ruining thousands ; and even hundreds of 
tnousands were involved in the effects of his predatory methods. The result to 
him is a fortune now estimated at $500,000,000. How the public has been 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 305 

benefited is not apparent. With competition, prices would be lower than they 
now are. 

Now Mr. Rockefeller says that " the church will follow in the same channels 
and tend toward one great end." 

How are the churches to be consolidated ? They are distinct organizations, 
representing diversity of religious belief and different methods of church 
government. 

The churches are not engaged in making money. If they were, Mr. Rocke- 
feller's methods might succeed in wrecking and destroying the weaker ones and' 
unifying the strongest ones, numerically, and obtaining for them a monopoly of 
the business. He might thereby close most of the churches, reduce the number 
of ministers and confine the work to the " hustlers " among them. But since 
money-making is not the purpose of the churches, Mr. Rockefeller'.^ mcihods 
would be unavailable, and the only way to bring about a consolidation of the 
churches is to bring about unity of belief and feeling. Since the different deno- 
minations are not immediate constructions, but outgrowths from pre-existent 
religious forms and beliefs, and have historic associations with different beliefs 
and methods, their unification, if it is ever effected, must be the result of pro- 
cesses of growth and gradual assimilation. That cannot be brought about by 
manipulation. It involves a change impossible except one extending through 
centuries. But since the church organization becomes more specialized every 
year, consolidation becomes more difficult, and the extinction of the weaker 
religious organizations .widely different, is more likely than their unification. 

Mr. Rockefeller's attempt to justify his methods, by pointing to them as those 
by which religious unity is to be secured, is transparently absurd. 

A union might be effected between the less conservative elements of some of 
the most recently formed organizations with the parent bodies, but the union of 
Catholics and Protestants, or of Protestant sects, like the Presbyterians and 
Baptists, the Methodists and Unitarians, for instance, is not even within the 
range of possibility. 

MISCELLANEOUS. 



"THE ALrOGETHP:R."— Helen Sharman Griffith tells this "true story" in 
LippincoiVs : A little girl of eight with her mother was visiting at the house of 
her aunt, whose son was about the same age. " .Vly dear," said the little girl's 
mother, " I want you to be careful, when i)laying with your cousin, never lo let 
him see you in your chemise." A few days after this the little boy knocked at 
his cousin's door and was refused admittance. Presently, however, she opened 
the door and bade him enter. *' Why wouldn't you let me come in before ?" he 
asked. " Because," she replied frankly, '* mamma said I must never let you see 
me in my chemise. But now that I have taken it off, you can come in." 



-306 SECULAE THOUGHT. 



AN EPISCOPAL LION-KING— It was an MP., if we remember rightly, 
^'ho came across a lion as he was cycling in Somaliland and frightened the beast 
away by ringing his bell. He has been outdone now, however, as we learn from 
Bishop Wilberforce's missionary address at the Church House. The Bishop of 
Mashonaland came across three lions together, and resorted to reading the 
Thirty-nine Articles aloud to them. When he reached the Article touching Jus- 
tification by Faith, they turned tail and fled. The policy of a cassowary, on the 
plains of Timbuctoo, as we know, should be to eat up a missionary, hymn-book 
and all — if only because "hymn-book too " rhymes with Timbuctoo, and nothing 
else does. The king of beasts, however, evidently has less spirit. These three 
lions seem to have waited meekly to the Eleventh Article, patiently enduring the 
enumeration of the Canonical Books of Scripture and the edifying Apocryphal 
Books, and even the denunciation of the Pelagians. But their courage was 
gradually oozing out at their paws, and at Article XI. all was over. The lion is 
fast upsetting our childhood's trust in his kingliness. — Pall Mall Gazette. 



DRUNK IN CHURCH : HEAVY SENTENCE.— At Montreal, a few 
weeks ago, Victoria Johnson was charged in the Recorder's Court with being in 
St. James's Cathedral while in a state of intoxication. The reporter tells us that 
" as Miss Johnson was unable to explain her conduct satisfactorily, she was sen- 
tenced to nine months' imprisonment." We should like to know what explana- 
tion would have been satisfactory, and we should also like to know what the 
imposition of such a heavy sentence has to do with Christian charity. Nine 
months' imprisonment for straying into a church while drunk ! Is this forgiving 
a brother "seventy times seven?" (Matt. 21 : 22). But this was a sister, and 
might have contaminated the holy brotherhood of priests. 



A RELIGIOUS MANIAC— Montreal, June 5.— Max Lassonde is confined 
in a padded cell at police head-quarters, a raving maniac, as a result of attending 
the meetings of a French-Canadian Protestant revivalist named Mage. Last 
night Lassonde tried to kill his wife, and then destroyed all the things in his 
house, saying that he had no further use for worldly light, heat, or food. He 
made an effort to kill himself before being locked up. 



A PEACEFUL PHILOSOPHER.— The old colored man was sitting on the 
fence tuning up his fiddle when a tourist from the north happened along, and 
queried, " Well, uncle, doesn't the present agitated state of the world worry you ?"' 

" What's dat, sah ? " responded the old darkey, turning the well-worn key. 

" Why, the great war, for instance? " 

" VVah ? Huh ? Ah hab a wife en a mule. Dey creates mo' trouble den all 
de wahs." 

" Well, cyclones and floods ? " 

" Huh ! Las' time we had a cyclone a strange bahn blew in mah yahd, en 
nobody has ebber claimed it yet De flood cum rushin' down de ribbah en 
landed three chicken coops right at mah do'." 

" Well, the beef trust, don't that worry you ? " 

"No, sah. Ah libs on bacon en pones. Nufifin worries me, sah ; nuffin 'tall." 

And the old man struck up a jig. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 307 



Zoilct Ibinte. 

(" A well-known woman writer has some excellent advice for the woman who 
would keep her youth. . . . ' Severe, critical, faultfinding, intolerant thoughts, all 
sharpen the features and dry the cuticle and take the lustre from the eye.' " — Daily 
Gironide. 

There are mrny, many quacks abroad, with soft, seductive tongue, 
Who persuade you they can aid you in the art of keeping young ; 
One will tell you with assurance you may confidently hope 
For perfection of complexion if you only use his soap ; 
Number two will pledge his honor to the solemn gospel truth 
That devotion to his lotion will insure you lasting youth ; 
Number three suggests a nose peg that will give your pug a turn 
Whence, he urges, it emerges a presentable concern ; 
While another has a corset which will keep you comme il faut 
When your figure waxes bigger than you care to see it grow. 

But, if people buy the rubbish that is only made to sell, 
Why, the ninnies waste their guineas and their foolish pains as well, 
And they ought to know that beauty lies far deeper than the skin, 
1 hat the features are the creatures of the soul that works within. 
Are your thoughts severe and critical ? Your cuticle gets dry, 
And it crinkles into wrinkles, and the lustre leaves your eye : 
Vulgar spite and petty scandal pay the mischief with your hair. 
Make your forehead dry and horrid and your temples bald and bare, 
While a tendency to slander makes your epidermis bag 
Till its simply hanging limply round a dessicated hag. 

So. my ladies, when the mirror — candid critic — lets you know 

That your color waxes duller than in days of long ago. 

Vain- the golden transformations which you order from the stores, 

Vain the creaming and the steaming of your overburdened pores ; 

Vain to rail at Father Chronos and abuse his wicked arts. 

For your faces bear the traces of your own perverted hearts. 

Would you boast the bloom of peaches, let your soul be pure within ! 

To be truthful keeps you youthful, and it lubricates the skin ; 

Tf your locks are growing thinnish, study poetry with care. 

Read Othello and Sordello — they are matchless for the hair ! 

— Punch. 



Socialism now knocks at the gate leading to Petet's chair. T'lere has just died 
at X'erona, Antoine Samson, a printer brother of the present Pope, and the 
priestly papers have taken no notice of the decease. The reason is not very fir 
to seek. Antoine Samson was a Socialist. — London Labor Leader. 



Nine hundred and thirty-six cases of poisoning among British workmen were 
reported last year, of which 189 were due to white lead, 106 to pottery, and 49 
to electric accumulators. 



Suspicious men are mostly dishonest. 



308 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 



A TRIP TO A STAR. 

" Let us suppose a railway to h'ave 
been built between the earth and the 
fixed star Centauri," said the lecturer. 
" By a consideration of this railway's 
workings we ean get some idea of the 
enormous distance that intervenes be- 
tween Centauri and us. 

*' Suppose that I should decida to 
take a trip on this new aerial line to the 
fixed star. I ask the ticket agent what 
the fare is, and he answers : 

" * The fare is very low, sir. It is 
only a cent each hundred miles.' 

" ' And what, at that rate, will the 
through ticket one way cost 1 ' 

" 'It will cost just $2,750,000,000,' 
he answers. 

" I pay for ray ticket and board the 
train. We start off at a tremendous 
rate. 

" ' How fast,' I ask the brakeman, 
' are we going ? ' 

" ' Sixty miles an hour, sir,' says he, 
' and it's a through train. There are 
no stoppages.' 

" ' We'll soon be there, then, won't 
weV I resume. 

" 'We'll make good time, sir,' says 
the brakeman. 

'*'"* And when will we arrive ? ' 

•*"In just 48,663,000 years.'"— 
Philadelphia Bulletin. 



IN SUNDAY SCHOOL. 

Teacher — Why did Saul hide when 
he had been elected King ? 

Johnnie (son of a hotelkeeper) — 
S'pose he was afeared he'd have to 
stand treat. 



**IS IT HOT EN3UCjH FOR YOU?" 

The man who has no work to do, 
Who spends a frequent hour or two 

In watching to see whether 
The mercury is low or high, 
Is he who suffers most from sly 

Vagaries of the weather. 
But he who his appointed task 
Performs, and never stops to ask 

How hot it's getting. 
Is happy though the mercury climb, 
And squanders very little time 

In vain regretting. 
So, if you would be calm and cool, 
This lesson learn in Wisdom's school, 

Taught by a Poet : 
Work hard, and don't talk politics. 
And, even though it's ninety-six, 

You'll hardly know it. 



The boy had shown such a degree 
of ignorance and mental obtuseness 
that the teacher was disheartened, and 
she finally asked sarcastically : " Do 
you know whether George Washington 
was a iioldier or a sailor ? " 

"He was a soldier," replied the 
urchin, promptly. 

" How do you know that 1 " she per- 
sisted. 

"'Cause I saw a picture of him 
crossing the Delaware, an' any sailor'd 
know enough not to stand up in the 
boat." — Chicago Evening Post. 



An Irishman, looking at the grave 
of his brother during wet weather, was 
heard to remark : "Be jabers, if Oi 
iver live to die, which Oi hope Oi 
won't, Oi hope they won't bury me in 
a ditch loike this, wdiere Oi'll be a 
drowning for the remaining days of 
ane loife." 



SEC ULAE THOUGHT 

A Fortnightly Journal of Rational Criticism in 
Politics, Science, and Religion. 



J. S. ELLIS. Editor. 


NEW SERIES. 




C. n. ELLIS, Bus. Mgr. 


Vol. XXXI. No. ii. 


TORONTO, JUNE 30, 


1905. 


loc; $2 per ann. 



flDan mxt^. 

— :o: 

Man is not born to solve the problem of the universe, but to 
find out what he has to do ; and to restrain himself within the 
limits of his comprehension. — Goethe. 



EDITORIALS 



DR. PATTON ON 
" RIGHT-LIYING 
RASCALS ! " 



One of the strangest sermons we have heard of 
for a long time was one delivered by President 
Patton, of Princeton (N. J.) Theological Semi- 
nary, on Sunday, June 4th. The report in the 
daily press runs thus : 

" * The meek shall inherit the earth,' [it is said,] but we all want the 
earth, and there is poor show for the meek. In the future meekness 
will not be considered a virtue, but tne maxim that might makes 
right shall prevail. Now, the philosophers, headed by Nietzsche, are 
slapping at the validity of the principles of Christian ethics, and in the 
future the moral standard is destined to be lowered. It is easier to write 
a perfect system of ethics than to practise it. A man may sit all day 
evolving ethical problems, but keep an eye on him at night. 

'* I hate to yee a cold-blooded, right-living rascal, who has his $40,- 
000,000 and can teach Sunday-school regularly and drive his hard bar- 
gain every week, always keeping just within the range of the law. If I 
were asked what I thought of such a man, I would say he was lucky not 
to be in jail." 



Dr. Patton not only scoffs at the Sermon on the Mount, but he 
bteras also to deny the existence of any "power that makes for righteous- 
ness," and predicts the ultimate triumph of might over right. And yet 
h(^ tills us that, philosophers of the modern school slapping at Christian 



310 SECULAK THOUGHT. 

ethics — and, we presume, destroying its basis — the moral standard will 
be lowered. 

Dr. Patton appears to identify Christian ethics with a high moral 
standard ; but, if so, we can only deplore the fact that a man in his 
influential position should be deluded by such a belated superstition. 
In our opinion, almost any change from Christian morality must be an 
improvement ; for, as nineteen centuries of history down even to our own 
day unmistakably assure us, Christian morality has not saved mankind 
from reaching the lowest depths of vice and crime. 

With such a poor ethical basis for a foundation, it is not surprising 
that Dr. Patton should talk about writing a " perfect system of ethics" 
being easier than practising it. A perfect system of ethics, we take it, 
is one of those things that may be regarded as a possibility in the long 
distant future ; though perhaps Dr. Patton would say — having rejected 
the Sermon on the Mount — that the Golden Rule is a perfect system. 

The doctor's inconsistency, however, reaches a climax in his discussion 
of " right-living rascals," who can amass millions and teach Sunday- 
school w^hile "keeping just within the range of the law." By what 
ethical standard can a man's conduct be termed *' right-living " if it is 
so immoral as to merit the term " rascality ? " 

It is deplorable that such men as Dr. Patton should be in a position 
where they can impress their loose and illogical notions upon the plastic 
brains of young students. 

Certainly, a man who can spend his days evolving such ethical pro- 
blems as Dr. Patton appears to indulge in should be watched at night, 
whatever may be done with his '* right-living rascals." Rather, perhaps, 
should he be watched all the time. 

The claim that " true Christianity" is ethically 
WHAT IS " TRUE good, and that it can be differentiated from the 
CHRISTIANITY " ? current theological ecclesiasticism or " churchi- 

anity," is probably the most effective weapon 
of the Christian apologist, as it is also one of his greatest fallacies. For 
it is manifest that, while Christianity, like all other religions, has a basis 
in theology which entirely vitiates its ethical value, its history proves 
that it has utterly failed as a moral force. We are entitled to formulate 
our objections to the claim in this form : 

1. Whatever " true Christianity " may be, it has been unable, during 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 



311 



nineteen centuries, to make headway against ecclesiasticism. It is a 
sheer assumption that it can do better in the future. 

2. It is a pure assumption also that this " true Christianity" ever 
existed as a dominating power in the church. The New Testament gives 
evidence that the earliest Christians were by no means moral or peace- 
able (see 1 Cor. 5 : 1, etc.), and there is no evidence that the Christians 
were at any time more moral than the pagans. 

3. The theological basis of Christianity is entirely opposed to that of 
ethics ; and the claim of Christianity to be an ethical force only has a 
semblance of validity because it has been co-existent with the social and 
humanitarian forces that are revolutionizing society. 

If Christians to-day are taking part in some of the movements the 
object of which is to improve the moral condition of the people, this is 
because they are abandoning the ** pure Christianity " which instructs 
the believer to save his own soul by belief, regardless, of all his fellows, 
and even of his parents and his children. 

It is evident that the advocate of ** pure Christianity " in course of 
time will claim it to comprise all that experience shows to be good and 
useful to mankind ; and perhaps that is not an unsatisfactory phase of 
Christian evolution. But the claim that these things ever existed as 
leading features of the Christian system in past ages is pure poppycock. 

Pure Christianity, like Tennyson's '* Christ that is to be," whatever it 
may be, is a thing of the future, not of the past. 



THE RELIGIOUS 
DEATH OF 
GERMANY. 



At a recent meeting at Wycliffe College, a Mr. 
J. A. Morrison, for thirty years an officer of the 
Euroi3ean Bible Society, read a paper on " The 
Religious Life of Germany," in which he made 
some remarks about the status and work of the 
preachers of Germany that contain a suggestion as to the possible utili- 
zation of the preachers' services in other lands. Mr. Morrison thought 
there were no signs of another Reformation in Germany — " the religious 
tendency was rather downwards," he said ; and, if so, the downward 
tendency must evidently carry the preachers to their legitimate destina- 
tion. What is the cause ? 

" One cause was the increasing materialism. Since the victory over 
the French, the rural population had drifted into the cities, and the 
church had not followed them. They had adopted a shibboleth of 



312 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

socialism, and within a generation the working classes had become the 
most irreligious in Europe. The evangelical church had lost a great 
opportunity. Its weakness was largely due to its connection with the 
State. A synod could not move without the State entering into the 
question. Ministers were officials registering births, deaths and marriages. 
They had many other duties to secularize their thoughts, and had little 
time for pastoral duties. Religion had sunk to a mere perfunctory per- 
formance. Since 1865 the population had increased 20 per cent., while 
the supply of students for ecclesiastical work had decreased 50 per cent. 
Even some Christians held piety in contempt. Preachers appealed to 
their congregations to do their duty to their neighbor and to the State — 
mostly the State. The people took great heed to the Kaiser, whose reli- 
gious impulses, like his political impulses, were ephemeral. He was as 
versatile in politics as in art and science." 

Mr. Morrison is not the only man who sees destruction to the church 
by connection with the State ; but there are others who think differently, 
and especially the clergymen who draw salaries from the State coffers. 
We might also ask, What would have been the result had neither the 
Catholic nor the Anglican Church been attached to and supported b}^ 
th9 State ? We see, both in Canada and in the States, how religious 
bodies are being fostered by State connection ; for, though ostensibly 
neither the Canadian nor the American Government has (or should 
have) any connection with the churches, both of them are so dominated 
by clerical influences, that practically there is a most intimate connec- 
tion between Charch and State. 

In both countries, hundreds of thousands of dollars of public money 
are paid every year to chaplains tjonnected with the public services ; and 
millions of dollars are given to the churches in the shape of remission 
of taxes. In both countries, the welfare of the people is being sacrificed 
at the bidding of an unscrupulous hierarchy, in order to secure Catholic 
political support. 

Mr. Morrison's suggestion that the preachers could become official 
registrars of births, marriages, and deaths might be a good one, if it 
were carried out so as to secure from the preachers the honest perform- 
ance of their duties, but the record of such work hitherto done is not 
encouraging. The reverend registrars have often proved themselves the 
most culpably negligent of all such officials ; and it seems evident that 
it would be the most fatuous policy to employ them in any capacity re- 
quiring common business ability or honesty. The safest policy seems to 
be to allow them to die out as preachers with their religion, and to find 
their level like other citizens in th^ great army of useful workers. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 313 

At present they have certainly got the " pull " on the great mass of 
the people throughout Christendom, hut it is pleasing to have the testi- 
mony of a man like Mr. Morrison to the fact that Germany is following 
rapidly in the footsteps of France in throwing off the great incuhus. 

The Langtrys and the Pottses, the Torreys and 
THE BIBLE UP the Sam Joneses, may continue to shout, " The 

TO DATE. Bihle is still supreme," that the Higher Critics 

are mistaken pedant»s, and that science has heen 
discomfited in its encounter with ancient faiths ; but their cries only 
serve to remind us that the human race to-day, as in all preceding ages, 
is by no means a homogeneous race which has attained a uniform stage 
-of evolution. Mankind varies, in its physical as well as in its mental 
aspects, from the ape-like Pygmies and the Australian Bushmen to the 
well-developed Caucasian ; in each se[)arate race we find variations 
of an almost equal extent ; and the extremely small advance yet made 
from the simian mental status, even with all our modern educational 
advantages, b}^ the mass of the people is emphasized by the loud appeals 
made to them by priests of all sects to preserve their faith in the ancient 
theological stories, which have been dismissed by every intelligent man ; 
we might say, by every intelligent preacher in the church itself. 

})y. John P. Peters, of New York — not, of course, a theological scholar 
like, say. Canon Cody, but only a Babylonian explorer and archaeologist, 
discoverer of tablets of king Ur-Gur and of the site of the ancient city 
of Nippur, and author of many works on Biblical research — is one of 
the latest to give unequivocal testimony to the destructive character of 
modern archaeological investigation and Biblical criticism. Only a week 
or two ago, before the Church Congress, held in the Y. M. C. A. building, 
Fulton Street, Brooklyn, repeated some of the conclusions he had arrived 
at and recorded in his book, " The Early Hebrew Story." Some of these 
are thus reported : 

" The characters in the Book of Genesis are no more than myths, 
created by the Hebrew writers with a deep religious purpose .... but 
have no historical value ivJiatcver..'' 

" 1 have heard much about the disturbance of faith, and I have the 
greatest sympathy with those who feel that we are taking away views 
that were sacred to them ; for I love traditions, and it is hard to give 
them up. But I have come in contact more with those whose faith has 
been shaken, not because those traditions are disturbed, but because it 



314 SECULAK THOUGHT. 

seems to them that teachers of religion are not jprepared to meet present 
conditions.'' 

"The Bible should be examined in the same way that Roman history 
was examined — by bringing historical canons to your aid. That is the 
only faithful way. He who believes it to be inspired, and that the word 
of God is sure, will not be disturbed by the result." 

" When the exploration of Babylon began, searches were made for 
proofs of the stories in the Book of Daniel, hut the discoveries were not in 
accordance icith the stories'' 

"The Old Testament is full of myths and traditions, even Abraham, 
and Isaac, and Joseph. I suppose they were not real people." 

"The Gospels had no chronological order, and they did not agree in 
various ways, but they give you such a picture of Christ as you could 
not have got in any other way. 

" The jews did not call the books of the Old Testament history ; they 
called them ' the Prophets,' and their conception was the taking of the 
story of God's workings in the past, which should throw a light on the 
future. They may have made mistakes, but that is the true concep- 
tion ; that is the true historical value." 

Dr. Peters points out that the fact that fiction 
MYTH, TRADITION, enters very largely into the story of Moses by no 
AND FICTION OF means proves that he was not a real historical 
" TREMENDOUS personage ; but he concludes that the stories of 

VALUE " TU the Flood, Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Jeph- 

RELIGION. thah's Daughter, Joseph, Jacob, and many other 

characters, are partly or wholly mythological or 
taken from Babylonian history ; yet he believes them to have been of 
tremendous value to religion, and that they shed a real light upon the 
manners and customs of the times in which they were written. He tells 
this regarding the story of Lot's wife : 

" Another of the stories connected with the name of Abraham repre- 
sents the attempt to explain certain striking natural phenomena. To 
the north of Damascus, on the road to Palmyra, is a salt marsh, the 
rocks to the east of which are fantastic in thier shapes. When I tra- 
velled through that country, the Arabs pointed out to me these rocks as 
men and women, turned into salt by God as a punishment for their 
misdeeds. In fact, the story of Lot's wife was told to me with regard to 
these rocks, precisely as in the Bible it is told of the strange salty for- 
mations at the south of the Dead Sea." 

And he believes, like many other Churchmen, that the Bible, though 
challenged as a narrative of historical fact, still stands as " the founda- 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 815 

tion-stone of religion and as the inspiration of all literature ! " Such 
utterly extravagant assumptions make us despair of the intellectual 
capacity or good faith of those who utter them. Certainly, myth and 
miracle — belief in them, that is, as actualities — are of tremendous value 
to religion ; they are its very life-blood. But that is hardly what Dr. 
Peters means. And what ethical lessons of value can be extracted from 
the Biblical stories ? Is a woman always to be punished by sudden death 
for trying to gratify a very natural curiosity, as in the case of Lot's wife ? 
Is an adulterer and assassin to be rewarded with God's favor, as in the 
case of 4)avid ? Are hypocrisy, fraud, and cowardice to meet with the 
most supreme blessing, as in the case of Jacob ? 

The fact is, peoople who talk about ** the dealings of God with man " 
being capable of affording any moral lesson are ethically blind. 
• Still, we must be thankful for small mercies, and when we remember 
that Dr. Peters' criticisms were listened to without a word of dissent by 
a Church Congress which comprised many of the most learned men in 
the profession, their real import may be comprehended. 

" Great is the mystery of godliness," we have 
THE GEEAT been told, and to us the greatest mystery of all 

SUNDAY SCHOOL is the mystery of Christian godliness. One can 
PICNIC IN understand the godliness of a Hindoo fakir, who 

TORONTO. mortifies his flesh with cruel scourgings accord- 

ing to his faith, and inflicts untold agonies upon 
himself as a religious duty. But who can understand the godliness of 
Christian professors, who go on a big picnic to the glory of God, and 
who, clothed in broadcloth and silken attire and gorgeous millinery, ask 
charity in the shape of gratuitous board and lodging, so they may have 
more cash available to spend on bric-a-brac to take home as mementoes ? 

The modern well-to-do Christian believes in sacrifice, but the sacrifice 
must be chiefly of other people's goods. And if he can get a government 
grant to swell his charity fund, why, so much the greater his godliness. 

Toronto the Good has just been overrun and overcrowded with some 
thousands of delegates to the International Sunday School Convention, 
and no one could see the crowds of them who filled the streets and the 
street cars without understanding that they were having a **good time" 
in Toronto the Good, and were thoroughly satisfied with both themselves 
and their hosts. 



316 SECULAR TH0UC4HT. 



We like to see these religious conventions. In more ways than one 
they do good. In spite of much sanctimonious preaching and praying, 
and occasionally a squabble and a fight, they distinctly encourage a spirit 
of toleration and good-fellowship. In the present case, the newspapers 
tell us that the proceedings were not without some lingual asperities, in 
one instance the struggle approaching the character of a Donnybrook 
Fair dispute. Though there is a vast amount of professional religious 
shibboleth, still the union of religion and picnic cannot fail to have a 
softening effect upon the stern features of theological dogmas. 

The wrestling-match between Jacob and Yahve may be looked upon 
as a prototye of that going on between the good of mankind and the 
powers of priestcraft. Given a free field, and the contest between the 
Cook and the Priest is certain to end in favor of the former. 

"Great is the mystery of godliness;" and when the delegates have 
had a good taste of fun and pleasure in attending these conventions, we 
have no doubt they vvill hanker after more of the same kind, as the Jews 
hankered after the fleshpots of Egypt, and will be less amenable to every 
form of priestly dictation. 

One or two features of the Convention may be 
SOME NOTABLE noted. On the whole, Toronto possesses one of 

FEATURES OF the best street railway services in the world, and 

THE CONVENTION, on such an occasion as this it is simply indis- 
pensable. Toronto's main street east and west is 
just nine miles long, and north and south the leading streets vary from 
two to over three miles. The delegates were billeted in every available 
corner where lodgings could be had for nothing, and without the street 
cars one-half of such places could not have been utilized. We wonder 
how many of these delegates who crowded the Sunday cars will hesitate 
about voting in favor of Sunday street cars in any town in which they 
may reside. Why, even with an extra elastic Christian conscience, they 
would feel themselves to be mean skunks to vote against a convenience 
they had found so useful, so enjoyable, nay, even indispensable, when 
they visited Toronto. 

Another feature — and one that speaks volumes for the " practical 
Christianity" of the delegates — came to us in this wise. Sympathizing 
with one of Toronto's hotel-keepers on the possible loss of his license 
as a result of the strong talk of the Convention on Prohibition, etc., our 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 317 

friend gently smiled as he remarked : ''I wish they would have a Con- 
vention every month." "How's that? Aren't you afraid they may 
succeed in stopping your business ? " " Not much," he replied ; " why, 
since the Convention began, I have been busier than I had been for 
many months." How far his experience coincides with that of other 
liquor-sellers we do not know, but we have our suspicions. Beer and 
Bible have always run well together in harness. 

Perhaps, however, our inexperience gives us an exaggerated idea of 
our own failings in the drink line. A delegate from Toledo, 0., said that 
in that city, with only one-half the population of Toronto, there were 
five times as many saloons. In any case, the S. S. delegates found no 
difficulty in reaching a friendly bar-tender. 

One leading event was the selection of the locality for the next year's 
picnic. This shows how eager these folks are for another good outing. 
After a number of places had put forward their claims, the contest sim- 
mered down to a struggle between Louisville and San Francisco. Either 
place could supply unlimited spirituous, if not much spiritual comfort. 

It would not be profitable to attempt to follow 
CONVENTION the proceedings of the Convention, even if we 

WISDOM. had space to do so ; but some of the preachers' 

sayings may be noted with interest, as showing 
something of the greatness of the wisdom assembled to do honor to the 
Bible and its author. 

" Wherever the Sunday school thrives, religion in the home revives," 
said Rev. Richards, with a feeble attempt at doggerel. Which must be 
the reason why, with 25,000,000 pupils in the Christian Sunday-schools, 
the complaint has lately been so universal that *' family worship " has 
almost disappeared. But perhaps family worship is not ** religion in the 
home," and this, we imagine, is often the truth. 

** The most common expression in a pastor's ear is, * Pray have me 
excused.' " said Rev. Jo. Clarke, which is doubtless also true — and very 
significant. Mr. Clarke also thinks that *' Almost all the people in the 
world to-night over 21 who are not saved never will be ;" which Osleric 
dictum is probably true also, though it consigns to eternal perdition the 
great bulk of the human race. Luckily, the people fear one anathema 
as little as the other. 

" Wherever humanity's footsteps have trod, there is the harvest of the 



318 SECULAK THOUGHT. 



Cross," is the oracular utterance of r^ev. McFarlane ; and we might ask, 
where else should the Cross seek its harvest — in a hornet's nest, in an 
elephant jungle, or above the clouds? The harvest of the Cross has 
been billions of slaughtered men in every country from China to Peru. 
It is time that such a fearful harvest should cease, but the Cross seems 
rather to increase than to decrease it. 

" Christian education and Protestantism came together ; they will 
stand or fall together," said Eev. Kichards ; and, if so, we may perhaps 
be allowed to hope that their falling together may come soon. The idea 
of associating Christianity with Education shows how easy it is for the 
clerical mind to overlook eighteen centuries of dense ignorance among 
the masses when Christianity was supreme, when to utter a new idea 
meant torture and death, even after the birth of Protestantism ; and to 
talk as if the education which has been forced upon the church was the 
outcome of Christian principles. 

'* If education is an all-round matter, then the Sunday-school stands 
second to none among the educational forces," said Eev. Hammill— a 
claim which at once negatives that made on behalf of Bible teaching in 
the Public schools. It is, however, an enigmatical opinion which may 
mean anything or nothing ^iccording to interpretation ; but, looking at 
the Sunday-school Lessons, we suppose Mr. Hammill's idea of an " all- 
round " education is, that the idiotic side of a child's character should 
be cultivated equally with the rational side. 

"All denominations help," said Kev. Allan Hudson. "Methodists 
pick a man out of the gutter. Baptists wash him, Episcopalians starch 
him, and there jou have him." And by the time 'the sects have done 
with him, he is, as Jesus said, as great a hypocrite as the rest. 

*' When I became mayor," said Mayor Urquhart, 
MAYOR URQU- " 1 was asked if I was going to give up being 

HART'S NOBLE superintendent of Walmer Road Sunday-school. 

AND CHRISTIAN I said, * No, I would rather give up being 
SELF-SACRIFICE. mayor.' " Considering that there was not the 

slightest necessity to choose between the two 
offices, that the mayoralty is worth $5,000 per annum (with a neat train 
already laid for a surreptitious increase to $7,500) and " perks," the 
reader can judge of Mayor Urquhart's honesty. He is a Christian, no 
doubt, and his story will be appreciated by Christian children. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 319 

" If education is only learning, and culture, and ability, then the finest 
educated man I ever saw served seven years in the penitentiary," was 
Rev. Hammill's way of serving up a long-since worn-out argument and 
titillating the egotism of his hearers. The story may be worth its face 
value, though most likely it is grossly distorted or a sheer invention. In 
any event, Mr. Hamill forgot to say how many Christian preachers and 
other church officials are in prison at this moment for vile offences. 

" John Wanamaker, my personal friend, said to Marion Lawrence, the 
international secretary, * When the church saves a man, it saves a unit ; 
when it saves a boy, it saves a multiplication table.' " Which is another 
way of saying that, when you have filled a boy's head with religion, you 
have converted him into a fanatic or a lunatic. 

The liquor traffic came in for a vast amount of denunciation. Mr. St. 
John, the Speaker of our Legislature, said that the Sunday afternoon 
meetings had been held regularly for seventeen years, and from fifteen 
to 190 persons had signed the pledge every Sunday. The strange thing 
is, that with all the efforts so far made, there has been no appreciable 
effect in the way of a reduction either of drunkenness or of the amount 
of liquor produced and sold. We would suggest that this result is pos- 
sibly due to the connection of the temperance cause with religion. 

Certain it is, that so little has been accomplished by education upon 
this question, that only the present restrictions — ineffective as they are 
— stand in the way of an alarming increase of drunkenness among the 
laboring classes — and possibly also among the richer classes. 

Rev. D. H. Day, of Los Angeles, thinks ** the Savior's parables cast a 
flood of light upon the nature of God." Mr. Day is one of the greatest 
discoverers of any age, and we shall look anxiously for some further 
explanations. 

Dr. Urquhart, of Scotland, attacked the Higher Critics. He admitted 
that they had gained a complete victory in the old land and in India, 
but was sure they could be routed in Canada and in the United States 
"if the people w^ere only true to the Bible ! " If. Why, that is the 
whole issue. How could anybody live, let alone gain victories over it, 
if the people were true to the Bible? It would be the reign of the pious 
Inquisition once more. But Dr. Urquhart is still more optimistic. If 
the people of Canada and the States are true to the Bible, they may not 
only rout the Higher Critics at home, but may cross the Atlantic and 
turn the tables upon them in the old country ! For a Scotchman, Dr. 
Urquhart has a big bump of imagination. 



320 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



IRc^lIncarnation. 

:o: 

BY CHILPERIC, IN LONDON " FREETHINKER." 

:o: 

During the past few years, the Aborigines of Australia have been closely studied 
by several trained scientific persons ; more especially by Messrs. Spencer and 
Gillen, who have had the advantage of being initiated into the tribal brotherhood, 
and have therefore had exceptional opportunities of learning the legends, and 
witnessing the magical ceremonies, of the natives. Their latest publication is a 
remarkable testimony to their industry, as well as a proof of the complete way in 
which they have gained the confidence of the Australian savages. 

As is well known, the Aborigines of Australia represent the lowest level of 
savagery at present existing on the earth. They have no houses, no clothing, 
and no means of preserving or storing food. Even at this moment several of 
their tribes make use of the most primitive forms of stone implements, although 
knives and hatchets of iron are gradually being introduced from the white 
settlers. It therefore follows, that by studying the ideas and customs of the 
Australian natives, we get as far back into the mind and notions of early man as 
it is possible to go. 

One most extraordinary discovery is, that the Australians have no idea that 
the procreation of the race has any connection with the intercourse of the sexes. 
It has never occurred to the native mind that the one has anything to do with 
the other. Instead of this, the Aborigines have a very simple explanation of the 
whole matter. In the *' Long Ago " there roamed over the face of the earth a 
small number of individuals who were, half human and half animal or plant, and 
who were endowed with far greater magical powers than any man or woman now 
possesses. Those semi-human beings, in their wanderings over the country, left 
behind them small deposits of souls, the deposit being marked by some special 
natural feature, such as an erratic rock, a peculiar tree, or a gloomy water-hole. 
A semi-snake being would thus leave a deposit of souls belonging to the snake 
totem ; a lizard, souls of the lizard totem, and so on. 

When, therefore, a woman of child-bearing age passes one of these deposits, 
there is always the chance that a soul may pop out, enter into her, and be 
ultimately born as a black baby. The women are, as a rule, not at all anxious 
to entertain these vagrant souls. Therefore, on passing near the rock, or tree, or 
other feature, they resort to minor magical practices to deceive them. A young 
woman will double herself up and hobble past, leaning on her yam stick, in 
order to delude the souls into the belief that she is too old and decrepit for 
child-bearing ; or she will repeat ancient formulae that are supposed to have 
power to charm the souls and render them powerless. 

These magical practices do not always deter the vagrants, and a boy or girl 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 321 

esents itself in due course. The boy or the girl grows up into a man or a 
Oman, dies, and the soul returns to the deposit to remain with the other souls 
til it is born again. Each changes its sex with each incarnation. That is to 
y, the soul of a man becomes a woman at the next birth ; then, on the death 
f this woman, it is reborn as a man, and so on ad infinitum. Consequently, 
very man and woman in the tribe is the re-incarnation of a series of male and 
male ancestors that stretch right back to the " Long Ago," and he may look 
rward to a succession. 

The procreation of the lower animals is accounted for in an equally facile 

anner. The reader need not be reminded that totemism is a characteristic 

stitution in these tribes. In Australia the totemic idea is, that each individual 

Tmystically connected with some creature, plant, or element, and can influence 

e growth of these things. A man does not eat his totem, except under certain 

traordinary circumstances ; but, by the performance of set magical ceremonies, 

e is supposed to have the power of increasing the stock of kangaroos, grubs, or 

her things that form the totem. And it is, of course, to the interest of his 

ibesmen to see that he does it. Thus, a man of the grass totem will work 

agic, to further the growth of grass seeds, that he must not eat, though his 

Hows may. Then a man of the kangaroo totem will work magic to ensure 

ngaroos that he cannot eat, but the grass man may ; and so on. It therefore 

Hows that every Australian blackfellow believes himself to be dependent upon 

e other blackfellows' performing the proper ceremonies for producing the 

various animals, plants, and things by which life is sustained. There has thus 

grown up a complicated form of superstition, manifested chiefly in ceremonial 

games that occupy a large part of the men's time. 

It will, consequently, be appreciated that the totems are considered to be of 

vital importance to the tribesmen. The totem is born, not made. In some 

tribes it is more or less erratic. The mother recalls the locality where she first 

found herself to be pregnant, and the child is of the totem that is known to be 

peculiar to the souls of that place. In other tribes the child follows the father's 

totem ; or the mother's totem ; according as whether the patriarchate or the 

inatriarchate is the rule. While, in some parts of Australia, the child's totem 

depends upon a peculiar code of rules that varies in each tribe. In any case, 

however, it is believed that the child is a re incarnation of an ancestor of the 

ame totem ; and the child is supposed to know the proper woman in which it 

as to enter in order to be born in the proper tribal rule. If a miscarriage 

'( curs, or if the birth is fatal to the mother, the accident is attributed to the fact 

that the soul has made a mistake, and got into the wrong woman. 

Now, all this is very important to the student of religious ideas, for this theory 
of re-incarnation, which is the normal standpoint of the Australian savage, is 
continually cropping up in the religions of the higher races. Those peoples that 



322 SECULAE THOUGHT. 



have more correct notions upon the procreation of the species, are continually 
telling stories of miraculous births, which are clearly unconscious survivals ot the 
aboriginal idea. We have stories of the preternatural imf)regnation of women, 
through their innocently catching at a ball floating in the air, or through bathing 
in a certain stream, or eating some special fruit, or in some other way, without 
the intervention of man. The Conception of the Virgin Mary as she goes to 
draw water at the well, as traditionally represented in Christian Art, is on all 
fours with the Australian theory that the native woman is entered by one of the 
souls lurking in the water-hole. 

The famous Indian doctrine of the transmigration of souls is still more akin to 
the Australian view. It is important to note that this doctrine is not Aryan. 
None of the nations of Europe held it, with, perhaps, the exception of the Gauls 
— though even here it is not very clear. Pythagoras, who introduced the theory 
of metempsychchosis into Greece, was popularly supposed to have derived it 
from India. At any rate, the Greeks understood it to be entirely foreign. The 
Persians had no such doctrine, as far as we can discover from the ancient writers, 
or the Zend-Avesta. It is only in India that we have a perfect instance of an 
Aryan people holding the idea of transmigration, or re-incarnation. It must, 
therefore, have been derived from some source outside the circle of the Indo- 
European races ; and, as we know that India was thickly peopled by tribes in a 
comparatively low state of culture at the time of the Aryan invasion, the obvious 
explanation is, that the Hindus derived all their ideas of re-incarnation from their 
savage neighbors. 

Anthropology is continually giving us instances of customs and beliefs that 
appear exceptionable among higher races, and yet are the common practice 
among the lower ; and these strange theories of the Australian blackfellows will 
enable us to understand that the religious doctrines of miraculous conceptions 
are not inexplicable and ineffable mysteries ; but are merely the belated survivals 
of the erroneous ideas of our savage ancestors. 



Cbrietian Science^ 

:o: 

BY AN IDLER. 

:o: 



Mr. Eovi^ARD Steadman, C.S.D., lectured in Massey-hall, Toronto, a week or 
so ago, on Christian Science. The hall was crowded, and the Star devoted two 
columns to the report of it. I waded through the weary waste of words in a 
vain endeavor to obtain some glimpse of common sense. As I read more and 
more the idea was impressed on my mind that certain statements were wanting 
to thoroughly clarify the lecture. It was necessary for a proper understanding 
of the matter to know just how many dollars and cents Mr. Steadman made an- 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 323 

nually as a C. S. D., how many he made prior to his conversion, and how much 

his services would be worth in any other capacity than as a C. S. D. F'or 

nothing else besides substantial financial reasons can I understand why anyone 

would pile up such Pelions of nonsense on top of such Ossas of humbug. The 

whole thing reeked of charlatanism. There was a mechanical mixture of words 

of 

" Learned length and thunderous sound," 

to overawe the ignorant ; and a few allusions to the first and second persons of 
the Godhead, with a few texts to give the mixture a religious flavor to suit the 
superstitious. 

Why it is called Christian Science I do not know. Assuredly, there is but 
very little Christianity about it, and still less science. For the last nineteen 
centuries, priest, presbyter, parson, and pastor have prayed that the " sick and 
afflicted be restored to their wonted health," and the lesson of the centuries is, 
that prayer has no therapeutic value. 

Bu what was denied to the zeal of the theologian or the piety of the saint was 
revealed lo Mrs. Eddy, of New York. Christ, the Divine Healer, used neither 
lancet nor powder nor pill, and Mrs. Eddy claims to have discovered how he did 
it. It was certainly fortunate that the discovery was not made, as discoveries so 
often are, by persons who give the best of their brain and their life to their fellow 
man, but by a lady with the Midas touch, who straightway turned it into a few 
comfortable millions. We only know what Jesus did from the Evangelists, and 
a good many orthodox people are not a little puzzled to say how much of their 
reports is true, and how much is due to the enthusiasm of the reporters ; but 
such slight things as these make no difference to Christian Scientists. 

Christ not only healed the sick, but raised the dead, so that, according to Mr. 
Steadman, there is no reason why, if there were sufificient cash in it, Mrs. Eddy 
should not proceed to depopulate the graveyards. 

Christian Science recognizes no diseases as fatal. All alike can be cured by 
the proper incantations, and henceforth Christian Scientists should live for ever 
or else die in perfect good health. 

Germs, bacilli, bacteria, and the hidden worlds of the microscope, are but 
delusions. No one is afflicted with disease; only an overdose of carnal mind, 
to be charmed away by Mrs. Eddy's patent one-dollar prayers. 

The serious aspect of such a question is not the harm this foolish belief may 
inflict on its dupes, but the ignorance and superstition which it proves still exists 
in our midst. This is chiefly the work of our good Mother Church. 



As to the priestly organization, the practical effect of the Christian organization 
— the church — has always been averse to morality, and is so now. — William 
Ktngdon Clifford. 



324 . SECULAR THOUGHT. 

flDaJ) flDur6ocft'6 animal Stories. 

:o: 

THE ELEPHANT. 

There are not many scientists in our tribe, but what there are have been trying 
to trace our family's origin back to the baboon on the one hand and to the 
opossum on the other. They may both be wrong, but I feel morally certain that 
one is. My own observations confirm my first impressions — that we resemble 
the elephant family more than either of the others. I don't think that it matters 
now, as we have been ourselves so long, that a return to our original form and 
habits would be too radical a change for the majority of us, as we are strongly 
conservative. 

There are some Reformers among us who call themselves Utilitarians. They 
theorize that the vital energy expended in developing our noses might ail be 
saved and the expectancy of life increased by twenty-one and seven-eleventh 
years by using our tails instead of our trunks. The theory would be all right 
but for the fact that our tails have not been attached to the right end for trunk 
purposes. 

Our family come partly from India and partly from Africa, and some of our 
forbears used to roam in northern countries where there does not appear that 
there was much to live on, save the cached provisions of the Arctic explorers. 
Some humans say that these places enjoyed a tropical climate in those old days, 
but they have little besides ice to support their contentions now. Perhaps these 
forefathers of ours were explorers and were seeking ihe North-west Passage, or 
mayhap they were missionaries to the heathen elephants of those northern soli- 
tudes, to bring them to a knowledge of a savior and of the advantages of a sys- 
tem of taxation — for revenue only, the true Reform principle. Anyhow, that 
they did go there is proven by the fact that they did not get away, but were 
gathered to their mothers— fathers being dead — without benefit of clergy. 

Our family in India consists of an unlimited monarchy ; each one of us being 
a king in his own right, unless he happens to be a quec;n. Our rule is the law 
of the strong, and we fear nothing save small dogs ; the smaller the dog, the 
greater our fear, as he might run up our legs or get into our noses. Waugh ! 

Our masters, who know us and whom we know, only part with us when they 
lack rupees and are in the hands of the lenders of money ; those who will take 
a mortgage on their patrimony — the word " mortgage " is rendered in Bengalese 
" death-grip," and is a fair term and in accordance with such case made and pro- 
vided. We are then sold to some Philanthropists, who take us over the black 
water and chain us up in a park, that the children of the poor white trash 
may gaze on us and vex our souls with the smell of peanuts that they may not 
give to us. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 325 

It is all very wonderful, and is a proof to us that the great and merciful Father 
who is all wise does things that are all foolish. How do we know that the sahibs 
of the RICH WHITE TRASH are Philanthropists ? It is very simple. They have 
lands, or mills, or tramways, the gift of persons now dead. These the poor white 
trash must use, or die for want of things. The sahibs let them work for wages, 
and pay them so much that if they — the poor — live on less than they receive 
they can save. Now, were it but one rupee per mensem that is saved, there be 
twelve rupees in a year. These they can put in the sahib's bank and get interest. 
In forty or fifty years they can have many rupees, with which to fee the fathers 
of the public trust, and so get a gift of lands or roads, and become sahibs. Had 
the sahibs given but living wage, could these things be? 

Again, the sahibs take the profit of the labor of the workers, and with it buy 
one of us to stand in a park through all eternity. Had they not been philan- 
thropists, they would have taken their lakhs of rupees to the grave with them, 
and so have hidden the light of their countenance from a hell-deserving world. 

But are the banks of the sahibs safe ? Will the lake dry up that is fed by the 
streams from the everlasting hills, and that hath no outlet? 

There have been inroads on our family by the princes, the yonnger sons of 
the sahibs, who came out with fire-irons, servants, and reporter?, and shot us to 
death in the jungle ; but they talk of saving our lives now, as if there were none 
of us there would be no balls to knock about on green-cloth-covered tables, and 
no chance for the son of a would-be sahib to say between hiccups — 

" Go y' five bucks I win this game, ole fella." 



^be Ibigber dtitxce anb SupcrnaturaU^m* 

:o: 

BY JOHN MADDOCK. 

:o: 

Your criticism of Sir Robert Anderson's article, " Blasphemers or Benefactors," 
is worthy of a Secularist's steel. It does not matter who wrote the Bible ; every- 
thing in it is now before the bar of science and reason. Defenders of the Bible, 
it must be expected, will appeal to authority instead of to truth, because the 
latter is not of their theological dispensation. Sir Robert's question applies to 
the men who wrote the Bible rather than to the Higher Critics. The former 
libel both God and man, while the latter seek to purify theology and to be more 
charitable to the human race. The Higher Critics, therefore, are benefactors to 
that extent — they are in line in the grand march of intellectual evolution. 

The Higher Critics have lived in every age since Naturalism was born ; it has 
been their special function to battle against the supernatural fallacies set forth 
under the name of divine revelations, which are now positively shown to be a 
lot of incoherent and unverifiable human assumptions. When the people learn 



326 SECULAK THOUGHT. 

this fact thoroughly, and fully realize how they have been deceived, they will not 
be long in deciding between the teachers of the old Christian theology and the 
Higher Critics. 

It is really amusing to see such men as Sir Robert Anderson and Goldwin 
Smith predicting the lowering of the morals of the people generally, when they 
fully realize what sad havoc the Higher Critics are making of the old barbarous 
religious beliefs. They seem to think that morality is a specific result of a specific 
belief in " old wives' fables," and that when the fables are destroyed, morality is 
slain. Both of them are very poor students of history, or they would know that 
the morals of the people were not lowered by the Lutheran reformation, nor by 
any reform that has taken place since Moral and intellectual reform keep pace 
together; hence there is no danger of morality declming with the demolition of 
superstition. Genuine morality is sure to hold its own, and the artificial kind, 
which is now kept up by fear of punishment and coaxing reward, will be kept 
from declining by stern governmental law. If morality depends upon a specific 
belief in fables, then the Higher Critics had better let Christian theology alone. 
We Secularists do not want morality lowered, we want it raised, because we know 
that the happiness of mankind will be increased thereby. 

Rationalistic Materialism seems to bother such men as Sir Robert Anderson 
and Goldwin Smith, and well it may. Rationalists are not wasting time on 
" collateral issues ;" they are strictly attending to the " vital point " of the great 
controversy — Rationalism vs. Supernaturalism, which means sanity against in- 
sanity ; the insanity being in the foolish contention that things can be immaterial, 
that miracle is possible, that old wives' fables are divine revelations of truth, and 
that God commissioned a church to preach the only gospel to every creature — a 
church that never had anything to offer but contradicto-y theological assump- 
tions, and that never was adequately equipped to perform such a great and 
momentous work. The question is indeed one of "tremendous urgency," and 
it is no wonder that the supernaturalists are getting frantic about the loss of their 
airy ideals. 

Rationalistic Materialism can verify all of its statements ; Supernaturalism 
cannot ; it has nothing but subjective assumptions to offer ; it stands before the 
bar of science and reason like the man in the parable of the marriage feast, who 
did not have on a wedding garment. With the false idea of the supernatural 
came the false dogma of omnipotence. Both will die together before the grand 
march of Rationalism. 



The Bible is being offered, we are told, as a premium to the subscribers of a 
newspaper in Texas, and is taking in good shape. Texans are fond of novelties, 
and Bibles have hitherto baen pretty scarce down there. What the subscribers 
will do with them when they begin to read them is questionable. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 827 



H Ibinboo IPiew of tbe Salvation Hrmi?. 

:o: 

IN our issue of Friday last appeared an account of how the Salvationists, —white, 
)lack and yellow — performed their " Two Days With God " ceremony in London. 
"he Vaishnavas have, in the same manner, their '' Chabbish Proharies " or " two- 
lays'-ceremony." The Vaishnavas spend these forty-eight hours in " kirtan " ; 
Salvationists did almost the same thing. They, these Salvationists, began with 
msic, and " a hymn was sung with full-throated energy by the multi-colored 
pirong." The General (Booth) then ordered the clapping of hands, and again 
the verse was sung to an accompanying fusillade of hand-claps." The Vaish- 
navas have their cymbals, and those who have them not accompany the Kirtan 
songs with "a fusillade of claps." The Salvationists added to the volume of 
sound by crying " Glory ! " or " Hallelujah ! " The Vaishnavas have their cry 
of •' Joy ! " which also means " glory " or " hallelujah." They " swayed to and 
fro in ecstasy," and this the Vaishnavas also do. Some " laughed aloud,'' and 
some no doubt wept (though it is not mentioned), as the Vaishnavas do. In 
shoit, the Salvationists have adopted the Kirtan of the Vaishnavas, though" for 
reasons to be explained presently, in a partial manner. 

We fear the Salvationists are trying to accomplish something which is hardly 
possible, namely, to make two incompatibles meet. Would you give a pair of 
wings to an elephant? Or, the beak of a bird to a lion ? The beak would not 
fit in the lion who has to kill buffalo, and the wings will not suit an elephant who 
is too heavy for flying in the air. In the same manner, a picture, representing a 
hippopotamus or a rhino dancing, would be considered fantastic. In the same 
manner, we say, dancing and laughing scarcely suits Christianity, as it is taught 
by the priests. To be faithful to his creed, the devout Christian should appear 
before God with a rueful face, beating his breast and tearing his hair. Such an 
attitude will suit him better than dancing and singing. 

God has his sweetness, for he granted the bliss of love and immortal life to 
man. He has his mightiness, too, as indicated by hurricanes, earthquakes, and 
the like. Vaishnavism is the only religion which worships his sweetness alone. 
The Vaishnavas have given God the figure of a beautiful youth, bedecked with 
wild flowers and peacock feathers, and armed with no other weapon than a flute 
by which he bewitches his creatures. 

Every other religion prescribes mainly the worship of the mightiness of God, 
and seems to scarcely recognize his sweetness. Thus, even one of our goddesses 
has a sword in one hand, though this fearful aspect is sought to be counter- 
balanced by another hand offering assurance and blessings. The Christians do 
not give any form to the deity ; nevertheless their description of God excites, 
more fear than love. God, according to them, is "jealous ;" he is " wrathful " 
and •* vindictive." He at one time destroyed in bis wrath all men on earth, with 



328 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

the exception of half-a-dozen elect. He has in readiness hell-fire for the damned 
where he will hurl his creatures and torment them. In this manner, he will keep 
the damned for ever and ever in eternal suffering. He is ever on the alert to 
find fault with his creatures ; and, though belief and unbelief are beyond the 
control of men, he will punish with eternal fire those who have no faith in him 
or his son. In this manner it is only a select few who will be permitted to enter 
heaven, and the vast majority will be tormented in hell for ever and ever more. 

Those who have read Dante are so overcome by horror and fear that we think 
it is a book which no sensitive man or woman should read. Fancy a man or 
a woman converted into a tree or stone for their sins, without the power of 
motion but fully alive, and thus living an everlasting life of torture. 

There is no doubt that in the above description is to be found what an 
orthodox Christian believes. For ourselves, we believe in the Divinity of Christ. 
We believe that every sincere Christian will be saved. What Jesus taught was 
perhaps suited to the fierce races of the West. Perhaps Christ has been misin- 
terpreted or misunderstood. It would be impertinent on our pert to find fault 
with the teachings of a prophet of God. What we only mean to say is that the 
Vaishnavas have one method of worshipping God, and the Christians, have 
another. The Vaishnavas worship the sweetness of God, so dancing and 
singing suit them. The Christians worship what is dreadful in God, and Kirtan 
therefore does not suit them. 

The Methodists are the natural products of Christianity as taught by the 
priests. The most important duty of a man, according to Christians, is to avert 
eternal damnation, which a wrathful God, always seeking an opportunity of 
venting his anger upon his creatures, has kept ready for them. Man is naturally 
a sinful creature ; he is led from one sin to another, and the chances of his 
escape are feeble. The chances of entering heaven are so small that gigantic 
efforts are to be made to secure it. And the Methodist, therefore, prays for 
forgiveness; he beats his breast and tears his hair, and groans his agony. The 
preachers describe the tortures of hell-fire and the shrieks of the damned, so 
that the hearers go into hysterics, and some even lose their senses altogether. 

We think this altitude is more natural in a Christian than the holy dance of 
the Vaishnavas. As a matter of fact, the Salvationists have blended the two — 
Vaishnavism and Christianity — and created a curious mixture, which is unnatural. 

Why do the Salvationists dance and sing, clap their hands and laugh in 
ecstasy? It is because each thinks he is saved. Let us quote here from the 
Proceedings of the " Two Days With God " ceremony of the Salvationists : 

" A burly Australian told the story of his conversion. The listening soldiers 
broke in ever and anon with cries of * Praise the Lord,' ' It's true,' * I believe it.' 
Each nation, after its kind, showed its joy in the recital. The blacks swayed to 
and fro in ecstasy, the soberer Teutons beamed, the United Slates delegates 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 329 



lauj^hed aloud, and one and all at the close sent up a thunderclap of * I'm 
ved.' " 

So, at the ceremony referred to above, their war cry was " I am saved," and 
thus they were happy. They were happy that they had escaped the clutches of 
God who had destined them for everlasting damnation. They were happy, 
because they form ihe select minority who will go to heaven, and the others to hell. 
But the happiness which has self for its basis is not ecstasy — the ecstasy which 
leads the devotee to dance and sing. The fact is, the ecstasy of the Vaishnavas 
proceeds from a cause which is quite different from that of the Salvationists. 
The Vaishnava conception of God is that he is the partner of the soul and 
therefore dearer than all men. They realize the fundamental creed upon which 
Vaishnavism is based, namely, that " He is mine and I am his." The realization, 
though partial, of such an idea causes ecstasy, and ecstasy is followed by its 
manifestations, such as dancing and singing. In the Vaishnava " Kirtan " there 
is no thonght of punishment or reward, or self-salvation, or of hell or brimstone. 
The Vaishnava dances because he has a great future ; the Salvationist dances 
because he has escaped hell, as an accused dances when a convicting magistrate 
of India has acquitted him. The prisoner does not dance for his love of the 
magistrate, nor do the Salvationists for their love of God — they dance because of 
their escape from punishment. 

We know that men who serve Christ sincerely will be saved, as men who serve 

e Krishna will be. But what we contend for is this : if you remain Christian 

a Methodist ; instead of dancing, roll on the ground in the anguish of your 

a\ ; instead of clapping your hands in joy, beat your breast in agony; and 

instead of singing, utter groans. But if you will adopt Kirtan, then accept him, 

the Avatar of Nadia, Sree Gauranga, who brought it into the world for the benefit 

(A mankind, and his idea of God as a partner of the soul. To accept Kirtan, 

and not to accept Sree Krishna and Sree Gauranga, or to remain Christian and 

dance and sing, is to make sweet religion ridiculous. — The Amrita Bazar 

Pntrika^ Calcutta. 



Iln Xigbter Dcln* 

:o: 

BY ERNEST PACK, IN "AGNOSTIC JOURNAL." 

:o: 

A CANTERBURY TALE. 

His Grace of Canterbury is, by some, considered a rare humorist, and I am 
disposed to agree, feeling thankful there are only a few such. Maybe it was on 
account of his facetiousness that he was dubbed ai-c/^ bishop. His latest discourse 
was delivered to a number of old dames and duchesses on the duties of mother- 
V>ood. The subject was " Milk," and, naturally, the Primate skimmed very lightly 



330 SECULAE THOUGHT. 



over the topic. But his remarks were to the pint and well condensed, as usual. 
We are told that His Grace " suggested that the members of the Mothers' Union 
were not, of necessity, medical officers, nor sanitary inspectors, but he meekly 
and mildly suggested that the daily milk should be well overhauled, boiled, and 
generally inspected." VV^e are not told, however, which is the first process, and 
I should like very much to know. When a lecturer gets £15,000 a year for 
discoursing on milk, cow's milk, ass' milk, and "the pure milk of the word," he 
should give full particulars, or somebody will certainly overhaul and inspect him, 
though they may draw the line at the boiling point. 1 once had something to 
do with a quart of milk, but whether I proceeded correctly or not I cannot say. 
I think the method was this. I boiled it first, then, turning suddenly round, 
overhauled it, as also did the cat and her four kittens. 

But I presume this is not the sort of inspection to which the Archbishop 
refers. I fancy, when he advises mothers to inspect their daily milk, what he 
means is that they should search the bottom of the jug to ascertain that some 
eager kitten has not climbed up on theft intent, and accidentally started for 
Abraham's bosom, via the milky way. Who knows ? Perhaps in his early days, 
His Grace may have been nearly choked while in the act of gulping down a big 
draught, through having failed to fish out a door-knob or a cake of "Sunlight," 
and, if so, small wonder he recommends others to boil the milk. But another 
difficulty must be met. Allowing a cake of soap to have fallen in, unperceived, 
the flavor would not be over palatable ; and in the case of the boiled kitten the 
same objection would arise, and all the overhauling and inspecting in the wide, 
wide world would not make the stuff drinkable. So, my dear Canterbury, you 
see, that though we have settled the kitten, the question has still to be solved. 
Unless I hear more about this in a week or two, I shall agitate for 2s. 6d. per 
week to be docked off your salary — I should say, wages —that is, I beg pardon — 
stipend : yes, that's it, stipend — or — er— emolument. What ? 



HAVE YOU READ THIS? 

I read that the " Kah-gyur," or Tibetan Bible, consists of 108,000 pages. It 
comprises 108 volumes, and weighs 1,080 lbs., or something about half-a-ton ; 
and placed volume upon volume it stands seventy-two feet high. The ])rice of 
it is seven thousand oxen per copy, which figure, however, does not include 225 
volumes of commentaries which are necessary for its understanding, nor the 
large collection of revelations which supplement the B ble I have placed an 
order for fifty copies, and anyone may have one, upon application to the offices 
of the A. y., as far as they will go. First come, first served. A ladder, seventy- 
two feet long, will be given with each copy, in case the applicant should not be 
tall enough to reach the top volume. The books in each case will be sent home, 
carriage paid, in a large pantechnicon. I am doing this to encourage a healthy 
taste for literature, and trust the effort will be appreciated. Saladin asks me to 
say that as he is not in any way busy just now, he is pre[):ired to read it to any 
who desire him to do so. 



MISSIONS AND MUSIC. 

The Bishop of Manchester recently said, " In iny opinion there is nothing 
like the cornet for open-air services." A hit, a pali)able hit, my Lord Bishop. 
There never was, is not, and never will be, anything like the cornet, world 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 331 



without end, Amen. It is good for mission services, and is a fine forerunner of 
burial services. I look upon the cornet player as a criminal, and the instrument 
he carries as a deadly weapon. The further away you get from this brazen 
thing the better you like it ; in fact, distance lends enchantment to the sound. 
In the hands of a Reynolds, it may be coaxed into giving off the soothing 
strains that are the solace of the soul. But, in the clutches of the inexperienced, 
the cornet, with its fearful blast, can be said to constitute only a blasted 
nuisance. 



OWED TO A CORNET. 

The '' musician " came down like a wolf on the fold, 

And his cornet was gleaming like nine carat gold ; 

And he strained, till the tears down his cheeks you could see, 

As he " murdered " " The Bonnets of Bonnie Dundee." 

Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green, 
A great host gathered round him, at sunset, serene ; 
Like the leaves of the forest (when once he had blown) 
That host in the roadway lay withered and strewn. 

For the Angel of Death fluttered out on the blast, 

And the air that he breathed was for each man the last ; 

Then the multitude fell, overcome by his will 

As their "lights " were snuffed out by the cornet so shrill. 

And there lay the steed with his nostri's all wide, 
And the ass, and the cow, and the cat by her side ; 
And the cocks and the hens stiffened out on the earth ; 
And their feathers were scattered from Putney to Perth. 

And there lay the master, distorted and pale, 
And there lay the missus, and there, Abigail ; 
And the tents were deserted, and stood there alone. 
Not a gipsy survived when the cornet had blown. 

And the *' widdies " and "kiddies " were loud in their wail, 

But they captured the player and clapped him in gaol ; 

He was made an example, and slain by the sword ; 

Though he would have been hanged, had they found the Lost Chord. 



MISCELLANEOUS 



THE SOUL IMMORTAL. 

The Soul immortal, why then doth the mind 
Complain of death ? Why not rejoice to find 
Herself let loose, and leave this clay behind, 
As snakes, whene'er the circling year returns, 
Rejoice to cast their skins, or deer their horns ? 



— Lucretius (first century B.C.)t 



332 SECULAK THOUGHT. 



Mrs. Maine-town — Is there a druggist near here, boy ? I want to get some- 
thing for my nerves. 

Boy — You needn't bother, ma'am. You can get all the drinks you want right 
here in the hotel. 



" Mamma," said Dolly, after she had listened to a discussion of the day's news, 
"doesn't the Lord know how big this country is?" "Why, dear," exclaimed 
mamma, shocked, " what do you mean ? " " Well," replied Dolly, " the people 
in New York prayed for rain, and it landed 'way out in Kansas ! " 



Recently four children of an Italian named Joseph Oddo were conimitted by 
a magistrate, upon the death of their mother, to the Catholic asylum of the 
Sisters of St. Dominic, near this city, and the father was instructed by the court 
to pay the asylum $4 a week for their board. Oddo paid the money up till last 
week, when he found himself able to furnish the children with a home and went 
to reclaim them. Then he was told that one of them, a little girl, had been 
dead for six weeks. The asylum managers had not only neglected to inform him 
of the death of his child, but had continued to receive the pay for her board. 
Oddo has begun proceedings in the courts to recover his children from the 
religious ghouls and grafters. — N, Y. Truth Seeker. 



A FALLACY NAILED.— Mrs. Brahma," cackled the Brown Leghorn, who 
was something of a Socialist, " I should think you'd protest against the way these 
incubators are depriving you of your rights and driving you out of business." 

" Nonsense," clucked the Wise Old Hen ; " they are depriving me of nothing, 
but on the contrary are relieving me of much unnecessary toil. You will observe, 
if you keep your eye peeled, that I still furnish the raw material." — Cleveland 
Leader. 



WHEN SYLVIA SPRAYS THE LAWN. 

When Sylvia in the morning takes the sinuous garden hose 

And flutters to the verdant spot in front, 
She has a monster sun-hat set to shield her piquant nose 

While busy with that world-refreshing stunt. 
Then woe to the pedestrian who Coesn't watch and dodge 
When Sylvia sprays the lawn in front of where she's known to lodge. 

When Sylvia holds the nozzle pointed out toward the street 

And looks at the geraniums near by, 
There's danger on the sidewalk — O you never saw the beat ! 

For Sylvia has a wondrous wand'ring eye. 
Then dodge like all creation when you pass the pretty place, 
Where Sylvia sprays the verdancy with such consummate grace. 

O many a stenographic job has fallen to the lot 

Of that particular angel who records 
The sin that is most common when humanity gets hot — 

The habit of employing naughty words — 
And all because of Sylvia with her careless little way, 

When she takes out the garden hose and lets the nozzle play. 



SEC UL AE THOUGHT 

A Fortnightly Journal of Rational Criticism in 
Politics, Science, and Religion. 



J. 5. ELLIS, Editor. 


NEW SERIES. 






C. n. ELLIS, Bus. Myr. 


V^OL. XXXI. No. 12. 


TORONTO, JULY 


15, 


1905. 


loc; $2 per ann. 



^be Coming of tbc Common fiDan, 



■:o: 



For centuries the world has been preparing for the coming of 
the common man. And, the period of preparation virtually 
past, labor, conscious of itself and its desires, has begun a 
definite movement towards solidarity. It believes the time is 
not far distant when the historian will speak not only of the 
dark ages of feudalism, but of the dark ages of capitalism. 
And labor sincerely believes itself justified in this by the 
terrible indictment it brings against capitalistic society. In 
the face of its enormous wealth, capitalistic society forfeits its 
right to existence when it permits widespread, bestial poverty. 

All the social forces are driving man on to a time when the 
old selective law will be annulled. There will be no escaping 
it, save . by the intervention of catastrophes and cataclysms 
quite unthinkable. It is inexorable. It is inexorable because 
the common man demands it. The twentieth century, the 
common man says, is his day : the common man's day, or, 
rather, the dawning of the common man's day. 

Nor can it be denied. The evidence is with him. The 
previous centuries, and more notably the nineteenth, have 
ifiarked the rise of the common man. From chattel slavery 
to serfdom, and from serfdom to what he bitterly terms ** wage 
slavery," he has risen. Never was he so strong as he is to- 
day, and ?.iever so menacing. He does the work of the world, 
and he is beginning to know it. The world cannot get along 
without him, and this also he is beginning to know. All the 
human knowledge of the past, all the scientific discovery, 
governmental experiment, and invention of machinery, have 
tended to his advancement. His standard of living is higher. 
His common school education would shame princes ten cen- 



334 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



turies past. His civil and religious liberty makes him a 
free man, and his ballot the peer of his betters. And 
all this has tended to make him conscious — conscious of 
himself, conscious of his class. He looks abont him and 
questions that ancient law of development. It is cruel and 
wrong, he is beginning to declare. It is an anachronism. Let 
it be abolished. Why should there be one empty belly in all 
the world, when the work of ten men can feed a hundred ? 
What if my brother be not so strong as I ? He has not sinned. 
Wherefore should he hunger — he and his sinless little ones ? 
Away with the old law. There is food and shelter for all ; 
therefore let all receive food and shelter. — Jack London, in 
*' War of the Classes' (quoted in The Conservator)^ 

EDITORIALS. 

As was plainly foreseen, the coercion clauses of 

FINAL PASSING the Autonomy Bills, founding the two new Pro- 

OF THE COERCION vinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, have been 

CLAUSES. passed through their final stages in the House 

of Commons at Ottawa by a vote of 96 to 28. 

These bills give special rights and privileges to the Catholics in the 
new Provinces, and, however unjust or detrimental they may turn out in 
practice, these rights and privileges can only be modified by an appeal 
to the Dominion Parliament, where it would meet with the opposition of 
the whole Catholic power in Canada, or to the Privy Council, which 
would most probably refuse to interfere. 

The cry of the Government party throughout the discussion has been 
that the Bills simply perpetuate the present system, which the existing 
Territories have established of their own free will.? 

The iniquity of this plea should present itself to men of sense, — and 
perhaps it does, — but this made no difference in the result. In our view, 
the Dominion has no right to deal with the matter at all, under the 
provisions of the British North America Act, unless a grievance has 
actually arisen which demands a remedy. If the Catholics are satisfied 
with the present arrangement — and it is admitted that they are, this 
being the very ground on which the Government ask support, — then no 
remedy can be demanded, for no grievance exists. 

In any case, no Parliament has a right to perpetuate an established 
system, especially under circumstances that are certain to be modified 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 335 

very greatly in the future. But it is clear that the Catholics would never 
have made such a strenuous fight for the hills were it not that, instead 
of merely perpetuating an existing system, they hope to gain a decided 
advantage by means of the new clauses, with which the Government 
has done so much juggling. 

It is something to offset this result, however, that the impudent at- 
tempt to establish the dual language system in the new Provinces was 
frustrated by an almost unanimous vote. Such an attempt exposes the 
hollowness of the pretensions of the men who make it, whose real object 
is the subjection of the whole of Canada to the Catholic system — an aim 
largely on the road to accomplishment, however it may be defeated in the 
end. Their loudly-protested loyalty to British institutions is but the 
pretence of religious hypocrites, who are using the freedom secured by 
those institutions to fasten on their country the chains of ecclesiastical 
tyranny. 

Thirty-eight years ago the Dominion of Canada 
DOMINION DAY. was established by an Act of the British Parlia- 

ment entitled the British North America Act, 
upon terms that had been agreed upon by the leading Canadian politi- 
cians. Optimists might have expected that a young country thus auspi- 
ciously launched, with an almost entirely free hand in the management 
of its internal affairs, with the advice and assistance of the mother coun- 
try's best statesmen and with its history and experience as beacons, and 
protected from foreign complications by its full military and naval power, 
would have avoided the mistakes and crimes of older governments, and 
would have had an unbroken career of honorable prosperity. But what 
has been the result ? 

Hardly had Confederation been consummated, when the world was 
startled by one of the most disgraceful political scandals ever heard of. 
** These hands are clean ! " asserted the leading Canadian statesman of 
his own share in it ; but ** Turn the rascals out ! " was the reply ; and a 
new Government tried a more honest policy, only to be defeated in a 
couple of years or so by the corruptionists, who returned to power to 
retain it for eighteen long years. 

Once more a turn-over of parties occurred, and the nominal political 
descendants of the *' honest " party were again returned to power, after 
a struggle in which they championed the cause of " Provincial Rights" 
against the coercion policy of a party of men who found it impossible 



336 SECULAR THOUGHT. 



to keep office without truckling to the Catholics, and lost it by doing so. 
They were between Scylla and Charybdis, and were hopelessly defeated. 

Barely eight years have elapsed, and the " honest " party, which had 
denounced the corruption and extravagance of its predecessors, and pro- 
fessed to have settled for ever the school question on the basis of a non- 
sectarian school system, finds itself again in circumstances very similar 
to those amid which it gained office. 

What is now its position ? Its economical government has more than 
doubled the national revenue and expenditure, it has created a new crop 
of millionaires by giving away the public domain to Crow's Nest Pass 
and Grand Trunk schemers, and has saddled the country with probably 
an addition to its debt of not far short of $200,000,000 ; and now sup- 
ports the Catholics in their demand for the establishment of sectarian 
schools maintained out of the public exchequer, and withholds from 
Manitoba the settlement of her admittedly just claim until she agrees to 
a similar arrangement for Manitoba. 

Each recurring Dominion Day should be a source of pride to Cana- 
dians, but it rather brings a blush of shame to our cheeks when we see 
the liberties of our country bartered by our politicians to the agents of 
the Papacy for a new lease of power. 

We think it is not too much to say that the Pro- 
PROTESTANTS testants are almost entirely to blame for this 

THE CAUSE OF outcome. No one can be surprised that the 

THE TROUBLE. Catholic priests should take every advantage of 

events to forward the interests of their church. 
No one can blame them. We might as well blame a tiger for having 
stripes on his skin or a shark for having sharp teeth. 

But the Protestants have not the excuse of the Catholics. If there is 
any rational meaning in Protestantism, it is that the State should keep 
its hands off religion, and that private judgment should not be interfered 
with by any authority, ecclesiastical or secular. We know how little 
principles are adhered to by either priests or politicians ; but centuries of 
discussion, dispute and oppression should have opened the eyes of even 
the most bigoted of Protestants to the dangers of any policy involving 
interference in religious matters by secular authorities. In its best as- 
pect, such a polic}^ must lead to the unjust expenditure of public funds ; 
in its worst aspect, it fosters at the public expense the most dangerous 
features of a connection between Church and State. 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 337 

At the present time, the policy just endorsed by the Ottawa Parlia- 
ment is a distinct encouragement to the Jesuits' claims to the complete 
control of all education ; and means that, in the new Provinces, educa- 
tion will larprely partake of the character of that of Quebec, where the 
hulk of the children are practically uneducated. 

This result is almost entirely due to the bigotry of the Protestants, 
who have openly admitted that they would sooner have Catholic sepa- 
rate schools than permit a system of purely secular national schools to 
be established. While such a spirit prevails, while Protestants demand 
that some sort of religious teaching shall be carried on in the public 
schools, so long will the Catholics be justified in demanding that their 
separate schools shall be maintained. 

On Sunday, July 2, the 14th (Princess of Wales' 
ATTEMPTED Own) Regiment, of Kingston, having received 

TYRANNY OF THE permission from the Governor-General, left by 
LORD'S DAY the steamer America for a visit to the city of 

ALLIANCE. ■ Utica, N.Y\, by which city they had been invited 

to pay a friendly visit until the evening of the 
4th. One would have thought that but one opinion could be held of the 
mutual advantage of such an exchange of international courtesies. But 
we overlook the Lord's Day Alliance when we form such an opinion. 
This body of selfish and bigoted parasites protested against the soldiers 
being allowed to leave Kingston on Sunday, though it is certain that 
their Sunday travelling did not cause one extra man to work. In their 
protest these mean-spirited tyrants say : 

"It is disappointing to find that those to whom we most naturally 
turn as the upholders of the institutions should be so publicly concerned 
in violation of the day of rest." 

Imagine these parasites regarding the military forces as " upholders 
of the institutions" — their pet institution especially. Is it the case that 
every little sectarian Bethel must be regarded as one of the institutions 
the soldiers are enlisted to uphold ? Is it " following Jesus " to regard 
soldiers as the proper supporters of the dogmas of the church '? 

It is about time that both soldiers and civilians told these hypocritical 
pietists that they are as well qualified to settle what is the best way to 
utilize the day of rest as any preacher that ever lived. Let churchmen 
preach and pray and sing psalms all day long if they choose to do so ; 



338 SECULAK THOUGHT. 

but others should have the manliness to resent the impertinent interfer- 
ence of the preachers' trade union in their holiday arrangements. 

Imagine half a dozen priests and lawyers trying to stop five hundred 
men from paying a visit of courtesy and friendship to a neighboring city 
because to do so they must start on Sunday morning ! 

What little chance there is of anything like an 
*' NO U. S. MAILS approach to a serious international attempt to 
THKOUGH sfcop the present extravagant naval and military 

CANADA ! " preparations, and to inaugurate a mutually ad- 

vantageous system of commercial intercourse or 
of arbitration for the settlement of disputes, is indicated by the discus- 
sions that have arisen out of the quick passages made by the new boats 
of the Candian ocean mail service, which have rendered it possible to 
deliver mails from Europe in New York at least twenty-four hours sooner 
than if sent by the older lines. 

As an instance of w^hat has been accomplished, it may be mentioned 
that the mails delivered at Montreal on the 13th of June were brought 
from England by the Virginian half-a-day ahead of those brought by 
the Baltic via New York, which left England twenty-six hours before the 
Virginian. 

Naturally, one would think such a service would be welcomed as a boon 
to the business men of New York — at all events, until their own ocean 
lines were equipped with vessels of a better type. But wait a bit. 

It is admitted that various circumstances might discount the apparent 
gain, and that a winter service would not be without its difficulties ; but, 
we are told from New York, there is no chance of any such scheme being 
agreed to by the people of the United States : 

" Both business and sentiment would militate strongly against the 
United States Government consenting to send its foreign mails through 
Canada, even if a few hours were to be thereby gained, all the steamship 
men who were questioned agreed. W. R. Willcox, postmaster in New 
York, concurred entirely with them on this point. ' It is not possible to 
conceive of our Government taking such a proposition seriously, if it 
were formally put forward,' he said. ' Great Britain might see fit to 
send her mail through Canada, but as for our doing the same, it seems 
to me one of the most unlikely things I have ever heard of.' " 

That is to say, the mean, grab-all, ** patriotic," provincial policy of the 
American Government finds such an echo in the sentiments of the mass 
of the people of the States, that even a rather powerful appeal to their 



SECULAR THOUGHT. 839 



business interests will not induce them to make an arrangement which 
might benefit their neighbors. It is a cut-throat policy. 

While President Roosevelt is posing as an international peacemaker, 
he and his officials, in a matter where their own interests are concerned, 
refuse even to consider a proposition that would help to cement friendly 
sentiments with their northern neighbors. 

Nothing seems clearer than the fact that, while the masses require 
"governing," either by hereditary rulers as in Europe, or by machine- 
elected bureaucrats as in America, the age of peace is nothing but a 
will-o'-the-wisp. 

A few weeks ago we published one of Goldwin 
GOLDWIN SMITH'S Smith's letters to the New York Sun, in which 
PHILOSOPHY. he stated his position in his usual cultured, but 

undecided style. He has followed this by several 
others, all marked by the same general features, and the last of which 
we reprint in another page. In the former letter, Goldwin Smith attri- 
butes supreme importance to the questiofi of immortality, but the most 
elementary view of the question will show that this importance can be 
justified upon only two grounds — (1) a belief in immortality, in which 
case the concerns of the future eternal life must necessarily be of over- 
whelming importance ; and (2) the fact that the mass of ignorant people 
have such a belief, which must be conciliated for various reasons, in 
which case a revolutionary attack upon it might excusably be imagined 
to be highly dangerous. But to those who honestly acknowledge that 
a future life is inconceivable, is totally unsupported by evidence, and is 
contrary to all our scientific and philosophical notions, its importance 
sinks into nothingness compared with that of our present existence. 

Mr. Smith saves his logic'by qualifying his estimate of the importance 
of the question with the phrase, " if we have any means of solving it." 
Just so. The means are just the very matters in dispute, and we might 
expect, after such a sympathetic pronouncement, that a man of Goldwin 
Smith's ability would give us some tangible hint as to the method of a 
possible solution. But what do we get ? 

Mr. Smith at once admits that immortality is just as inconceivable as 
eternity or infinity. This, of course, is known to us all. And then 
comes the question, Of what use can a future life be to us if it is not 
eternal? Are we to be resurrected so as to be the recipients of ''eternal 
justice," and to have all our wrongs righted in some inscrutable way, 
only to be sent finally to the limbo of non-existence after a brief respite ? 



340 SECULAR THOUGHT. 

If immortality is inconceivable, a future finite existence see